Comets overpower Rams
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 7, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
Courtland Taylor rushed 19 times for 132 yards and a touchdown to lead St. Charles as it rolled past West St. John, 41-12 in Edgard.
St. Charles (3-1) ran for 195 yards and five touchdowns, including three by Stafford Jones.
It was the third straight decisive win for the Comets, who now prepare to face rival Lutcher in their District 9-3A opener.
St. Charles led 13-0 at halftime, but a 57-yard Taylor touchdown run down the sideline on the first play of the third quarter busted the game wide open.
“That was the big momentum swing for us,” said St. Charles Coach Frank Monica.
The Comets would score three of the next four touchdowns to ice the win.
Monica said that he saw a big improvement in his team in the second half, after a first half he deemed as sluggish for his team.
“We were a bit lackluster early,” he said. “West St. John came out with a lot of emotion and played inspired football.
“There were moments we lost focus. But we regained it, and in the third and fourth quarters we played with more confidence.”
St. Charles forced four West St. John (0-3) turnovers, and kept WSJ out of rhythm for most of the night.
“That allowed our offense to play a lot of the game on a very short field,” said Monica.
West St. John lost quarterback Dray Joseph in the second quarter to an injury to his ribs, and he would not return.
Rams Coach Robert Valdez said he could find no fault with his team’s effort.
“The one thing I love about this team, they just keep playing hard regardless of the score,” said Valdez. “I see them getting better. It’s tough to say that after a 41-12 loss.”
He added: “St. Charles is the best team we’ll see until the playoffs. They’ve got a class organization, top to bottom.”
After each team traded punts at the beginning of the first quarter, St. Charles started its second drive in good field position, its own 47. The Comets ran 10 times and got down to the West St. John 17, before quarterback Marc Picciola threw the drive’s first pass. It was incomplete, but he found Alex Marse on the next play for a 14-yard completion. Michael Brock scored from the 2 to make it 7-0 with 4:12 remaining in the first.
The St. Charles defense forced another Ram punt, and this time the offense took over at the WSJ 40 after Donald Brown’s kick went only 15 yards out of bounds. The Comets needed nine plays before Jones would convert a 4-yard run into points, making it 13-0 with 9:19 left in the second. The extra point was no good.
But St. Charles couldn’t get on track for the rest of the half. It’s next drive ended on a failed fourth down passing attempt by Picciola on the WSJ 12. Its final first half drive ended in a 3-and-out.
But the second half couldn’t have started better for SCC. Alex Marse set up Taylor’s long touchdown run with a 23-yard return to the St. Charles 43. Taylor’s run made it 20-0.
(See SCC, Page 10A)
Then Nick Reine recovered a fumble by the Rams’ Kenneth Dabney, setting the Comets up on the WSJ 43. The Comets didn’t convert that into points, but it set the Rams back in very poor field position.
On West St. John’s next possession, Dylan Klibert intercepted Rams quarterback Daylon Feist and returned it to the Rams 4. Jones put it in the endzone to put SCC ahead 27-0 with 4:30 left in the third.
West St. John answered briefly, scoring on a fake punt as Brown blasted past the defense for a 76-yard scoring run with 2:38 left in the third.
But St. Charles finished the Rams off early in the fourth, when Picciola found Taylor for a 39-yard catch and run resulting in a score on the Comets first drive of the fourth quarter.
Picciola was 8-for-12 for 103 yards and a touchdown.
West St. John’s Terrance Nathan caught three passes for 45 yards and a score from Feist. Dabney rushed for 72 yards on 11 carries.