SCC falls in district vs St. James

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2005

Loss drops St. Charles’ district record to 1-2,

gives Comets 13th seed in Division 2A playoff bracket


Managing Editor

ST. JAMES — The St. James Wildcats (5-4, 2-1) pulled off an unexpected 20-12 win Friday night over their visiting opponents, the St. Charles Comets (7-2, 1-2) from LaPlace.

“When we made offensive mistakes, our defense was able to step up. When their offense made mistakes in the second half, their defense was not able to come back.”

The comments, by St. James coach Rick Gaille, went far to explain how the Wildcats held on, coming back from an 9-0 deficit early in the second quarter to take control of the game and come out on top.

The first half seemed to go very much the Comets’ way. The opening kickoff to the Wildcats launched a drive into Comet territory, but that drive was abruptly ended with a fumble recovery by St. Charles. Taking over at their own 36, St. Charles drove all the way down to the St. James 8-yard line where the St. James defense stiffened, forcing the Comets’ into a Ben Benedetto 23-yard field goal with 5:25 left in the first.

The rest of the first quarter ticked away with no more scoring, but as the last second ticked off, a Wildcat fumble gave the Comets possession on the Wildcat 9.

Two plays later, with a four-yard run, senior Christopher Jones scored early in the second quarter. The PAT was blocked, but the Wildcats were down 9-0.

St. James took the ensuing kickoff and ate up nearly five minutes of the second quarter, as they drove to the Comet 3 before senior Tremaine Dapremont scored. The Jerome Lewis PAT was good, and the Wildcats trailed 9-7 going into halftime.

In the second half, St. James took the field, and before long, the game. St. Charles got the second-half kickoff, but three plays later, junior Craig Duronslet intercepted a Philip Sutton pass for a touchdown with 10:59 left in the period. A two-point conversion failed, but St. James had their first lead of the night at 13-9.

St. James kept up the defensive pressure throughout the quarter, blocking passes and sacking ball carriers until, with 3:13 left in the period, junior Terry Isom intercepted a Comet pass and returned it 80 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was good, and the Wildcats were up 20-9.

From there, things continued to sour for St. Charles, and Isom collected a second interception with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. The turnover did not lead to a score, as the Comets were able to take their next possession down to the Wildcat 6 before Benedetto kicked a 24-yard field goal for the last Comet score with 8:04 left in the game.

“It’s amazing what you can do when everybody is pulling on the rope in the same direction,” Gaille commented after the game to the team and fans. He later said when the offense made mistakes in the first half, none of their teammates criticized them for it, and they were able to come together as a team and work together for the win.

St. Charles returns to action this Friday in the bi-district round of the playoffs to host Farmerville at 7 p.m. St. James win boosted them to the fourth seed in Class 2A, which pits the Wildcats in a home game against Varnado.