Late conversion pass lifts Comets to 15-14 win

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009


St. Charles quarterback Henri Faucheux and receiver Tyler Roussel just couldn’t get on the same page for much of Friday night’s jamboree game at East St. John. But they sure found the right time to get in sync with one another.

Roussel’s 10-yard touchdown reception from Faucheux capped off a 97-yard drive with 4:16 remaining in the second half to pull the Comets within one of ESJ. A trick play on the extra point resulted in Faucheux again hauling in a pass in the endzone, this time a two-pointer that would net SCC a 15-14 victory over the Wildcats.

“We knew we were definitely the underdog. There’s a lot of pride and a lot of confidence at East St. John,” said Faucheux. “But we never let it bother us.”

Roussel’s touchdown catch in the right hand corner of the endzone sent Comet fans into a frenzy.

“Hank (Faucheux) put a pretty good ball on me. All I had to do was catch it,” Roussel said. “Credit the line for blocking so well. It was a big sigh of relief. Henri and I always have a good connection out there. We were a little off, but after I caught it…it was just a big relief.”

The go-ahead points came suddenly. After the touchdown, St. Charles lined up for an extra point kick as usual for the team — shifting the line to the left and leaving a potential receiver, in this case Roussel, all alone to the right.

But unlike on the Comets’ first attempt, no Wildcat covered Roussel, who hauled in an uncontested pass to make it 15-14.

“I didn’t even see it,” said Faucheux. “I’d thought we tied it up, I was too busy celebrating. Then I saw the crowd going crazy, and I looked up and saw 15 on the scoreboard.”

Robbie Eichhorn and Brady Hitt each intercepted passes in the final 2:11 of play to seal the win.

East St. John coach Larry Dauterive noted that his team prepared for such a play during the week. Two in-game injuries to defenders left the Wildcats confused on the second extra point attempt.

Nonetheless, he credited SCC’s attention to detail.

“I think they do the best coaching job in the state at St. Charles,” said Dauterive. “You have to give (St. Charles) all the credit. They go 97-yards down the field and get it done. I just feel like it should have never come to that.”

St. Charles started its go-ahead drive on the ESJ 3. A hard count drew ESJ offsides, then Michael Brock and Marcus Hall picked up a first down with runs of four and five yards.

But the drive really ignited when Faucheux found Zach Goodwin down the middle of the field for a 42-yard gain on a post route, setting SCC up on the Wildcat 45.

The Wildcats would battle back to force a fourth-and-seven at the ESJ 43. But SCC again responded when Faucheux hit Keith White down the middle of the field, this time for a gain of 33.

“(The drive) was huge,” said St. Charles coach Frank Monica. “We practiced coming off of our own goalline on Thursday, believe it or not. (Faucheux) hits the big play to Zach Goodwin, then comes up big again on fourth. He’s growing up. He’s a real good weapon to have, as long as we can protect him.”

Faucheux found Roussel on the very next play for the final touchdown of the night.

The game didn’t begin in that kind of fashion for St. Charles. ESJ took only 1:09 to put the first points on the board, scoring on its third play from scrimmage when Reynaldo Young took it in from 31 yards away on a run off right tackle.

St. Charles would answer at the 8:01 mark on a 13-yard scoring strike from Faucheux to Goodwin to cap a quick two-play drive.

The drive was set up by Marcus Hall’s punt return to the Wildcat 15. It was one of three long returns into ESJ territory on the night.

“Their kicking game beat us,” said Dauterive.

East St. John reg -ained the lead with 3:00 left in the first half on a similar two-play drive, on quarterback Kalen Henderson’s 26-yard keeper run for a score.

East St. John outgained St. Charles 284-104 in total yardage. But that advantage was somewhat negated by penalty yardage — the Wildcats committed 12 of those for 87 yards, while the Comets were called for two infractions for 15 yards.

Faucheux finished with 128 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Henderson passed for 172 yards.

Monica told his team in the postgame that despite it being a jamboree, it was certainly a night to build on.

Dauterive, meanwhile, chalked the loss up as a learning experience for a young team.

“We made some crucial mental errors. It’s kind of an inauspicious way to start,” he said.