Comets force four turnovers, block punt in fourth quarter to seal win
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
St. Charles forced four fourth quarter turnovers and blocked a punt to overcome 21-14 deficit and defeat host Brusly 28-21 in a District 9-3A game.
Courtland Taylor’s 8-yard touchdown with 10:18 left in the game was the game-winning score, keeping St. Charles’ hopes for an undefeated district title alive. The touchdown was set up by Matt Jacques, who forced and recovered a fumble at the Brusly 8-yard line.
The Comets (6-1, 2-0) forced five turnovers in all, propelling them to a sixth straight win.
“It was good to come back after facing that kind of adversity,” said St. Charles Coach Frank Monica. “I felt like we had a lot more energy in the second half, on the field, on the sideline. Even when we went ahead by 14 in the first quarter, the energy just wasn’t there.”
Comets quarterback Marc Picciola went down with an injury late in the second quarter after completing 6-of-10 passes for 61 yards. Henri Faucheux took over and was 5-for-10 with 66 yards in relief.
Picciola’s status for this Friday’s district home game with Port Allen is unknown.
“He felt better over the weekend. But we’ll see about it later this week,” Monica said.
Taylor rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Devin Snyder caught three passes for 54 yards. Jacques had seven tackles, 1.5 for loss, and a sack.
St. Charles trailed throughout the second half until Alex Marse blocked a Brusly punt on the first play of the fourth quarter. He recovered at the Brusly 1. Matt Brock scored two plays later to tie the game at 21.
The Comets began the game in a similar fashion to how they ended it. Brusly’s first drive went only three plays before quarterback Chet Simoneaux fumbled. The Comets’ Ethan Rome recovered, and SCC was in business at the Panther 23.
Taylor wasted no time, scoring from 23-yards away on SCC’s first offensive play of the game to make it 7-0 with 10:15 left in the first quarter.
The Comets forced a Brusly (4-3, 1-2) three-and-out and went to work again. Picciola’s 31 yard pass to the Brusly 2 set up Brock’s first score of the day with 2:47 left in the quarter, capping a 12 play, 68 yard drive to put SCC ahead 14-0 with 2:47 remaining in the first quarter.
The momentum began to shift after another Comet stop. This time, St. Charles made the costly mistake, as Justin Vicknair fumbled the ball away on a punt return.
“(Brusly) was energized after that,” Monica said.
Brusly recovered at the SCC 44, then marched in 10 plays to the endzone — Simoneaux’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Colby Craig cut the lead to 14-6 with 7:11 left in the half.
Things went sour fast for the Comets at the end of the half. Picciola was intercepted by Darius Jackson with 2:07 left in the half, and Jackson returned it 25-yards for the touchdown. Brusly converted a two-point conversion to tie the game.
Picciola was injured on the play and replaced by Faucheux. His first play went no better than Picciola’s last, as the ball was snapped over his head and recovered by Brusly’s Michael Sanchez in the endzone for another Brusly touchdown with 59 seconds left.
Neither team would score in the third quarter.
Grant Authement and Vicknair each intercepted passes to help preserve the win in the fourth quarter after Taylor’s go ahead score. On Brusly’s final drive, the Comets’ Paul Celestine recovered a Brusly fumble to ice the win.
Monica said the game could have been something of a wake up call to his team as it prepares for its final two 9-3A games against Port Allen and Plaquemines.
“All the teams in this district have such a combination of size and speed. Sometimes, it’s hard to convince your players of that until they see it up close and personal,” he said.