Clinton offers Comets tough challenge in first round

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 1998

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 11, 1998

LAPLACE – St. Charles Catholic did what it had to to get into the playoffs,winning its final two games to gain a wildcard berth.

Now the Comets face an even bigger challenge, getting by District 7-2A champion Clinton Friday night in the bi-district playoffs. Kickoff isscheduled for 7 p.m. at Clinton.St. Charles Catholic finished the season at 5-5 after defeating Ridgewood,41-17 Friday night. St. Charles Catholic’s John Price returned the openingkickoff for a touchdown and the Comets scored on a 77-yard run by Wayne Stein and a 71-yard pass from Nick Monica to Josh Schexnayder to take a 34-10 lead at halftime. The Comets finished with 410 total yards.Stein, who just missed going over the 1,000-yard mark last year, reached the milestone this year with a 23-carry, 204-yard performance against the Eagles. Stein has now carried 153 times for 1,056 yards and 13touchdowns this year. Stein also caught a 7-yard touchdown pass fromMonica, given him 16 total touchdowns.

Monica finished the evening with 9 completions in 12 attempts for 112 yards and three touchdowns. On the season, he has completed 69 of his 115passes for 1,062 yards and 10 touchdowns.

In the return game, Price’s touchdown was his second kickoff return for a touchdown this season. He also has one punt return for a touchdown and isaveraging over 35 yards per kick return and 23 yards per punt return. Steinalso has a punt return for a touchdown.

Special teams may play a factor as the Comets face a Clinton team that won the District 7-2A championship with a 9-1 record. Clinton ended theseason with a 14-10 victory over Northeast despite gaining just 66 yards in total offense and turning the ball over four times.

The Eagles are led by quarterback Greg Flowers who scored twice in the victory over Northeast. Senior tailback Rodney Stinson, the district MVP ayear ago when he ran for over 1,400 yards, went over 1,000 yards again this season. Stinson and Flowers are among the burners on a team thatmay possess more speed than any team the Comets have faced this season.

The Eagles run an eight-man front on defense, led by senior defensive ends Jaworski White and Corey Keller. That defense returned seven startersfrom a year ago.

Maintaining possession of the ball is what St. Charles Catholic coachWayde Keiser said will be the key to the game.

“We have to get them into throwing situations,” Keiser said. “Offensively,we have to hold onto the ball, slow down the game and keep their offense off the field.”Friday’s winner will face the winner of the Coushatta-Many game next Friday in the regional playoffs.

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