Comets to cage Pelicans, apologies in advance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quick, someone find me a voodoo priest…I have a curse to reverse.

You know, one thing I’ve learned this football season is that whole picking games thing…harder than it looks. I went a ‘meh’ 3-3 last week — unless you’re feeling charitable, and want to give me the West St. John forfeit. Then I went 4-3. Winning week!

But what was more disturbing (to me and perhaps only to me) is a trend that you might have already noticed at the beginning of this column every week. I always lead off with a feature game of the week, then go thorough each of the week’s other matchups.

But the feature game and I…we don’t exactly get along. We’re not chums, the feature game and I.

Since I began picking games in Week Three, one and only one team —St. Charles — has been able to beat what I call the L’Observateur Curse (or the Arena Jinx, or whatever you most prefer).

Sports Illustrated has nothing on me. Lets recap:

Week Four — I say East St. John ends the Bastrop streak. And it ended…only three weeks later.

Week Five — I take St. Charles over West St. John. The Comets oblige.

Week Six — I whiff on Lutcher, who falls to St. Charles.

Week Seven — I’m all about East St. John, but Dutchtown proves too much.

Week Eight — ESJ ends ‘The streak, part II.’ Destrehan’s at 22 and counting, thank you.

A few observations: 1. This must be St. Charles’ year, as they’ve survived this very cosmic force and even thrived since then. 2. I need to watch my back around East St. John, as I might be submarining a very promising season. 3. Be nice to me, or you might find your team at the top for the rest of the season!

Anyway, to this week’s edition.

Even with two games left for each team, there will be a district championship feel in LaPlace this Friday night as Port Allen (5-1, 1-1) visits St. Charles (6-1, 2-0).

The Pelicans were undefeated before Friday’s game with Lutcher, and gave the Bulldogs a tough game before falling just short.

But nothing’s been settled for Port Allen. A win over St. Charles could trigger a three way tie atop District 9-3A between these two teams and Lutcher — the Pelicans will be ready.

So too should be St. Charles, despite the 43-12 drubbing the Comets handed Port Allen a season ago. Coach Monica has been saying since the preseason that teams like Port Allen and Brusly are much improved, and if the players didn’t see it before, they do now — SCC survived a scare at Brusly last week.

The status of Comets quarterback Marc Picciola wasn’t known at press time either, a major subplot entering the game. Backup Henri Fauchier helped lead the team to rally from a 21-14 halftime deficit to win the game.

Port Allen is going to run, run, and run some more — the Pelicans ran it 58 times against Lutcher. They’re led by top rushers Leonard Parker, Johnathon Johnson and Devin Payne.

This game promises to be much closer than the one a year ago. But St. Charles has played lights out football for the past six weeks, and can see the finish line for a district title.

Comet fans…I’m so, so very sorry for this.

The Pick: St. Charles 27, Port Allen 24.

East St. John (2-4, 1-2) at Hahnville (5-2, 2-1) — The proverbial ‘must-win’ games for East St. John are over, because this one is literally a must-win. If East St. John, currently on the outside looking in on the playoff picture, can’t beat Hahnville, the Wildcats will be staring a three win, no postseason year in the face.

Each of these teams want to run the ball as long as you’ll let them. Each team is also inconsistent in the passing game, and each has dominated defensively at times. Hahnville needs to win to have any hope of a share of a district title, a hope long gone for ESJ. But ESJ needs this one very badly — the Wildcats have only lost to teams ranked in the top five of 4A and 5A, but they need to make good right now.

The Pick: East St. John 29, Hahnville 27.

Christian Life (6-1, 4-1) at Riverside (3-4, 0-3) — After a 3-1 start, the Rebels ran right into the power of District 10-2A, falling to St. James, Curtis and Newman this past week. Now, the Rebels need to win to help secure a spot in the playoffs.

Christian Life comes in with an impressive 6-1 record, and has scored 20 or more points in each of their six wins. But CLA has only played one team over Class 1A, when it notched a win over Berwick. It shouldn’t be a pushover for Riverside, but expect the Rebel defense to bounce back in a big way in this non-district game.

The Pick: Riverside 27, Christian Life 16.

West St. John (3-3, 2-0) at North Iberville (0-6, 0-2) — The Rams come off their easiest win of the season, a forfeit by East Iberville. Expect North Iberville to at least show up, but the end result will be the same after the final whistle.

The Pick: West St. John 29, North Iberville 8.

John Curtis (7-1, 2-0) at St. James (5-2, 3-0) — For the second straight season, these teams meet to basically decide the winner of District 10-2A. St. James got the job done last year, and has played extremely well in recent weeks. But this is one game in which the Wildcats will miss its many departed upperclassmen.

The Pick: Curtis 31, St. James 20.

East Ascension (2-5, 1-2) at Destrehan (7-0, 3-0) — Even if Destrehan’s offense takes awhile to get going or struggles, as it has over the past two weeks, its defense is dominant enough to keep the Wildcats win streak going. Rack up number 23 this Friday night.

The Pick: Destrehan 38, East Ascension 13.

Plaquemine (0-6, 0-2) at Lutcher (5-2, 2-1) — If the Bulldogs take care of the football, it can drop 50 points on any given Friday night. If they don’t, they’re ripe for an upset. But not this week — even if the Green Devils get to play on Halloween, their first win won’t come this week.

The Pick: Lutcher 51, Plaquemine 20.