Comets face Lutcher in 3A quarter’s rematch

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 26, 2004

SCC tries to repeat regular season win with berth in state semi-finals on the line



LAPLACE – St. Charles Catholic head football coach Frank Monica has seen just about everything in his many years on the gridiron.

And if there is anything he is quite certain of, it is the formula to make a run in the state playoffs.

“It isn’t always about the most talented team,” he said. “When you get to this level everyone is good, and so much is about emotion and momentum.

“Right now I think we have a bunch of kids who have taken it upon themselves to want to play. They are showing the intensity it takes to keep playing,” he said.

On Friday night at the Comet Stadium, SCC gets a chance to continue its history making year as they host Lutcher in a River Region battle in the class 3A quarter-finals. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The two local foes met during the regular season in district play, when St. Charles rallied from a 14-6 halftime deficit to run away from the Bulldogs in the second half and take a 33-14 win.

But Lutcher is the defending 3A state champ, and although entering the playoffs with only a 4-6 regular season mark, have come on strong in the playoffs.

“Lutcher is still the defending state champ and this is the time of year that they start playing their best,” Monica, a former Lutcher coach from years ago, said. “And what happened between us the first meeting doesn’t say a lot about what will happen this time.”

While St. Charles Catholic has never won a state title in football, the club did make the state semi-finals twice in double-A, back in the 70s and 80s.

But the quarter-final contest this year is the furthest the team has ever gone since becoming a triple-A school.

Monica believes the key has been the simple basics of the game.

“It still goes back to protecting the football, and executing,” he said. “Our kids have really great character and good chemistry. We’re not really that big-not nearly as big as Lutcher-but we have played with a lot of emotion and that’s the been the key for us.”

Lutcher, entering the playoffs as only the 23rd seed, has been impressive themselves as they knocked off highly rated Independence 14-0 in their playoff debut, then beat Chalmette 20-13 last week.

While many fans may figure this to be an easy win for St. Charles based on the large margin of victory during the regular season match, Monica said that there is no comparison.

“We played poorly in the first half against them and were down 14-6,” he said. “There was really one big play in that game that helped us turn things around and that was when they had a turnover early in the game when they were heading for a touchdown. One thing is for sure this time, we can’t play two quarters like we did before and expect to win.”