Comets can’t solve Hurricanes, fall at home to Higgins 37-7

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Sports Editor

Two hurricanes delayed the beginning of the St. Charles Catholic football season by a little over a week. And due to a third, the Comets will have to wait at least little while longer to celebrate their first win.

The Higgins Hurricanes rolled up 357 rushing yards and cored 37 unanswered points in the final three quarters on their way to a 37-7 victory at St. Charles.

Bruising running back Nolan LeBoeuf led the Higgins attack with 126 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.

The Hurricanes dominated the clock, and their defense constantly pushed St. Charles back into third-and-long situations offensively. It was also an opportunistic unit, coming up with four interceptions and a fumble recovery.

“We were manhandled,” said St. Charles coach Frank Monica. “We were beat in every way. We didn’t handle the triple-option well at all, and we didn’t have a pass rush. After our first touchdown, nothing went well at all.”

Monica said that despite the limitations placed on each squad practice wise, he felt the Comets were ready for the challenge.   

“I thought we would be better prepared than we were,” he said.

Courtland Taylor’s 15-yard touchdown run on the Comets’ opening series gave St. Charles a 7-0 lead, which it maintained until the end of the first quarter.

Higgins would answer at the beginning of the second quarter. The Hurricanes’ Stephen Smith caused a fumble by Comets’ quarterback Marc Picciola and returned it 14 yards for a score, making it 7-6. St. Charles maintained the lead after blocking the Higgins point-after kick.

On the second play of the ensuing St. Charles drive, Picciola sprinted right and threw a short pass that was intercepted by defensive back Brindell Dorsey at the St. Charles 23-yard line. Five Hurricane runs later, and LeBouef scored from 3-yards out with 8:32 left in the second quarter to make it 12-7. His run for the two-point conversion was good, giving Higgins a 14-7 lead.

Things would quickly turn sour from there for St. Charles. After trading punts, Higgins scored in three plays, a 78-yard touchdown run by quarterback Edward Bernard making it 22-7 after a successful two-point run.

Higgins’ all but closed the game out at the beginning of the second half, embarking on a 17-play, 85-yard drive that chewed up all but the last 2:31 of the third quarter, and ended with LeBouef’s third and final touchdown of the day. A two-point run made it 30-7.

“We were able to wear them down a bit,” said Higgins Coach Wayne Meyers. “We’re got some good size and we keep pounding away. That’s our advantage against a lot of teams.”

Monica, meanwhile, said it’s back to the drawing board for SCC, which had to regroup in a similar fashion after a lopsided early season loss to the Hurricanes a year ago.

“We had some momentum after the jamboree win, and we’ve lost that,” he said. “We have to make adjustments and improve. If not, it’ll be a long year.”

He also warned that in light of the loss, his players will have much to prove going forward.

“After today,” he said, “nobody has solidified his starting position.”