Demons douse Comets season

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2002


LAPLACE – If prior to the beginning of the 2002 football season supporters of St. Charles Catholic High School were told the Comets’ defense would hold opponents to 8.5 points per game, what do you think the reaction would have been?

You can bet those who believed the gridiron prognostication would have quickly made reservations at a hotel within walking distance of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. And despite the fact the Comets’ 10 opponents scored a meager 85 points, it is SCC which was knocked out of the state playoffs Friday by the Franklinton High School Demons.

It was a defensive struggle with field position at a premium, marked by missed opportunities for both well-coached squads on both sides of the ball. The scoreboard read FHS 6, SCC 0 when the final horn blew, but neither team had any reason to hang heads low.

The Demons, fresh off a 35-14 loss to Independence, were led on offense by sophomore quarterback Jordan Warren and juniors Demonsha Abron and Curtis Taylor. FHS consistently ran the ball in between the tackles and repeatedly executed screen passes to the receivers for move-the-chains gains.

Taylor doubled as the Demons’ punter and he, along with Comets’ punter Daniel LeBlanc, utilized a strong leg to regularly pin the opponents’ offense inside the 10 yard line.

SCC senior defensive back Lee Kliebert snuffed out the Demons’ initial drive with an interception at the 1 yard line. The Comets were unable to move the ball and LeBlanc, who also lines up at defensive tackle, boomed a 57-yard punt to relieve, at least temporarily, the pressure of the SCC offensive unit.

Throughout the first quarter, SCC senior defensive end Chris Cancienne dominated, along with fellow senior DE Alton Alexander, the line of scrimmage and constantly harassed Warren in and around the pocket. But the Demons kept up the heat and with the first quarter winding down, Abron broke off a 25-yard scamper up the middle.

With a little over seven minutes to go in the first half, FHS senior defensive back Jonathan Barber fielded a LeBlanc punt at midfield, found the wall, and burst down the sideline for a 40-yard gain to the SCC 10 yard line. Two plays later, Warren found Justin Burris on a fade route in the endzone for the first-round playoff game’s only score. The PAT was no good and the Demons led 6-0.

SCC senior running back Rod Remondet brought the vociferous crowd to its feet with 2:11 remaining in the half with a nine-yard, up-the-middle gain. The successful play immediately followed a 40 FHS punt which was downed at the SCC two yard line.

The Comets’ offensive unit came alive with junior quarterback Jeremy Catoire connecting with senior wide receivers Bryan Huber and Jamall Singleton and moving the ball to the FHS 39 yard line with less than five seconds to go. Halftime began as Demons’ senior defender Jimmy Tate sacked Catoire at midfield.

Time management and, again, field position, were utilized by the Demons to maximum effect during the second half. The SCC offensive unit showed flashes with Catoire hooking up with senior tight end Travis Trepagnier and sophomore running back Tyrell Fenroy dashing in between the tackles, but it was the Demons’ stout defense which spelled doom for the Comets’ season.

The Comets’ defense sacked Warren on several occasions in the second half with junior linebacker Jeremiah Johnson leading the surge. A key play in the third quarter was a thumbnail sketch of the Comets’ fortune in the contest. Around five minutes to go in the quarter, SCC junior defensive back Mike Pecoraro intercepted a Warren pass at the Demons’ 32 yard line and returned the ball to the 12 yard line. Catoire scrambled and attempted a trio of passes and the Comets were forced to try a field goal from the 13 yard line. The snap was bobbled by the holder, Catoire, and his pass into the endzone was batted down by an FHS defensive back.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, SCC head coach decided to make a change and sophomore Jesse Martin entered the huddle at quarterback. The ball was at the FHS 31 yard line and Martin rolled out and found Trepagnier for a 16-yard gain to the 15 yard line. Demon defenders swarmed over Martin as he attempted a roll-out pass on fourth down and another scoring opportunity slipped through the Comets’ collective hands.

It was at this time, Warren, Taylor and Abron took over the chore of grinding up yardage and chewing up the clock. The Demons drove the ball down to the SCC one yard line and only a touchdown-saving tackle by Alexander kept the Demons from adding to the score.

Catoire re-entered the game with nearly four minutes remaining and he gamely led the Comets on a pair of season-on-the-line drives. Each of the drives was halted by either an untimely penalty or a defensive highlight by an FHS safety or cornerback, specifically Barber, who was always around the ball.