Taylor, St. Charles rip Rayne 31-6

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Sports Editor

Courtland Taylor rushed for 161 of St. Charles’ 276 yards on the ground on Friday night as the Comets defeated Rayne in a Class 3A bi-district playoff game, 31-6 in LaPlace.

The Comets shook off an early Wolves touchdown to score 31 unanswered points and advance to the regional round, where the No. 4 seed Comets will face No. 13 Redemptorist at St. Charles on Friday night.

It was also the ninth straight win for St. Charles, which hasn’t lost since its opener at home against Higgins.

“I can’t remember the last time we won nine straight games,” said St. Charles Coach Frank Monica. “It’s a tribute to that senior group we’ve got. It’s quite an accomplishment to do that, especially after we were beaten badly in that first game.

St. Charles led 14-7 after a first half in which Monica said he didn’t see enough emotion or intensity from his team.

“We had a lot of missed assignments,” said Monica. “We had some breakdowns, and it affected our execution.”

St. Charles swept those issues away in a third quarter in which the Comets outscored Rayne 17-0, in effect putting the game away.

Michael Brock ran four times for 77 yards. Henri Faucheux completed 4-of-16 passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns.

Rayne struck first on the very first play from scrimmage. Tyler Venable threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Wynn to put the Wolves ahead 6-0.

St. Charles wouldn’t answer immediately. The Comets came away with no points after a seven-play drive to the Rayne 30.

But after a defensive stop, St. Charles got the ball on its own 5. It took one play for Brock to achieve the longest rush of his career, a 75-yard romp to the Rayne 20. Taylor scored on the next play to give St. Charles a 7-6 lead with 5:39 left in the first quarter.

With 6:45 left in the first half, Faucheux connected with Alex Marse for a 42-yard touchdown to make it 14-6, capping a three play drive that began on the Rayne 33.

Rayne challenged to tie the game late in the first half, driving to the St. Charles 15. Venable’s pass attempt for the endzone was intercepted by Justin Vicknair with three seconds left, preserving the SCC lead.

In the third quarter, the Comets scored on each of their three drives. A Taylor 53-yard run on the third play of the half set up Stafford Jones’ 5-yard score to make it 21-6.

“We always try to take what people are vulnerable to,” said Monica of the Comet running game. “Not that Rayne was, because they stopped us early. But Taylor broke a few nice runs, and we blocked well on the perimeter.”

Faucheux then capped a seven play drive with a 21-yard score to Zach Goodwin to make it 28-6 with 4:39 left in the quarter.

“That helped us out a lot. We need a mixture between the run and pass. We can’t just rely on one,” said Monica.

Finally, after a 30-yard punt return by Vicknair set SCC up on the Rayne 30, James Krawczyk capped the scoring with a 32-yard field goal after a four-play drive.

The Comets defense intercepted Venable three times, including two by Vicknair and one by Brady Hitt. Grant Authement and Nick Reine combined for 13 tackles to lead the defense, which allowed 225 yards but wouldn’t let Rayne finish drives off.

Wheeler led Rayne with 88 total yards.

“It’s always a good thing when you advance to the Sweet 16. We’re one of the last teams left,” said Monica.