Comets season one of many firsts

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

St. Charles loss gives Comets runner-up status in Class 2A state final


Sports Editor

SHREVEPORT– St. Charles’ run through the ‘05 high school football season gave Comets fans a chance to get out of the house for some exciting football.

And on last Friday it found a couple hundred of them trekking way out of the River Parishes, all the way up to Shreveport, to see SCC play in its very first championship game. Their opponent, state powerhouse John Curtis, dropped from Class 4A last season after redistricting where they won the championship against Northside. But despite the advantages of the perenial contender Patriots, the Comets looked to be in control of the game early.

On Curtis’ first two possessions, SCC forced a fumble to motivate the crowd into thinking about a possible upset, while putting themselves in position to make an early run at points or field position. But as tough as the Comet defense played, the Patriots matched the intensity with thier own defense. Stifled by an inability to run up the gut through the stout Curtis line, St. Charles just never could get their offense going and went three and out on four of their six first half possessions. The Patriots meanwhile, finally got on track late in the first with a punt return for a touchdown. Thier next score came off of an interception return of 31 yards by the Patriots Player of the Game Kelby Wuertz. It wasn’t until the second quarter that SCC’s defense would give up a score, but by that time, the Patriots had built a commanding 18-0 lead and there seemed to be little that the Comets could do to get kick-started on offense to put a dent in it.

A glimmer of hope did arise late in the third period when Mike Troglen blocked a punt and returned it into the end zone for a touchdown, but the SCC could only hold off the Patriots for so long, and the offense just had no answer to the Curtis defense.

&#8220We had a great run,” stated St. Charles Coach Frank Monica after the game. &#8220But we didn’t play the way we were supposed to. We tried to tell the kids all week, don’t just be content in getting here. We didn’t want to just settle for that.”

Chris Jones, a senior transfer from Rummel, led the SCC ground attack with 65 yards on 13 carries. Sophomore Jonathan Cancienne added 25 yards on eight carries to help the Comets post 101 yards rushing. But losses in the ground game gave SCC a net 55 yards in the game.

Junior quarterback Philip Sutton passed for 67 yards in an 8-of-17 performance, but threw two interceptions. Junior Casey Robottom led SCC receivers with five catches for 52 yards while senior Jerry Wilson nabbed two for 17 yards.

To look at the stat sheet after the game, it seemed like a war of attrition must have gone on as Curtis posted almost 300 yards rushing, but passed for only 8. Meanwhile, SCC found running the ball difficult, but managed 123 yards through the air. It was the special teams and turnovers in the game that masked the final score, as Curtis fumbled seven times and both teams scored on defense.

State Finals see page 15

The loss still puts SCC in the books as the state-runner up this year in Class 2A, a competetive division in which both state finalists were ranked one and two in the district.

With Curtis having defeated St. Charles in week six earlier this season, and compiling a 9-1 record, the Comets, at 11-2 took the district runner-up title behind the Patriots.

John Curtis claimed thier 20 state championship in the win, and overcame the early disruptions of the hurricane distruction, because of which they lost their first month of the season, to give Patriot’s coach J.T. Curtis his 427th win in 33 years.

On the season, the Comets finish with a 11-3 record with losses only to Curtis and district foe St. James. The defense was their most potent aspect on the field this year, giving up only points per game while the offense scored almost 30 on average. They were undefeated in home games, leaving many hometown fans with lasting memories.

&#8220We wouldn’t be here without these guys and the other seniors in the locker room,” Monica stated. &#8220They got us here. We just didn’t do what we needed to do.”