St. Charles falls inheartbreaker to Curtis

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 28, 2009



Few gave St. Charles Catholic a chance to defeat powerful John Curtis on Friday night. Yet, the Comets were a scant 57 seconds away from doing just that.

But the top ranked Patriots remained undefeated via some late magic. Curtis quarterback Bryce Jenkins capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with less than a minute remaining to lift his team to a 19-18 come-from-behind win over the fourth-ranked Comets in a District 9-2A game in LaPlace.

“Our kids gave us a great effort,” said St. Charles coach Frank Monica. “When you play a team of that magnitude, with the mismatches we had across the lines…I feel like you have to play a perfect game and call a perfect game. I don’t feel like I did that, but credit to our kids. They showed resilency against a juggernaut of a team.”

The win puts the Patriots (7-0, 5-0) ahead of SCC (7-1, 4-1) in the district race by a game, with two remaining.

As has been their reputation this season, the Comets great equalizer came via ballhawking nature of its defense – St. Charles forced four Curtis turnovers, two on interceptions, and returned one for a key score.

That score came as Curtis led 13-12 late in the third quarter. Dylan Klibert got a read on a Jenkins pass and intercepted it, returning it 25-yards for the go-ahead score. SCC led 18-12 and the Comets were smelling a huge upset.

“He almost came up with an interception on the play just before that,” said Monica. “He did a tremendous job to not only intercept to, but to put it in…in big games, it’s what you look for. Players who are reafy. He responded and gave us a chance to win.”

After stopping the Patriots, the Comets had a chance to put things away in the fourth quarter. But a 39-yard field goal attempt by James Krawczyk missed the mark. With over six minutes left, Curtis embarked on what would end up being its game winning drive.

Each quarterback played well. Jenkins completed nine-of-18 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown.

SCC’s Henri Faucheux was as brilliant, completing 20-of-26 attempts for 216 yards and a score.

The Comets took an early lead on Curtis behind to Krawczyk’s leg, as he connected on kicks of 37 and 32 yards in the first quarter – the second coming as the result of a Paul Celestine fumble recovery deep in JCC territory.

Jenkins would give Curtis its first lead, 7-6, on a 19-yard scoring run in the second quarter.

Each defense held firm until late into the second quarter, when Faucheux led the Comets into the lead via an 18-yard touchdown pass to Zach Goodwin that capped a 77-yard drive. That made it 12-7, as the two-point try failed.

Curtis responded with the biggest play of the night, an 82-yard scoring pass from Jenkins to Josh Hanberry that gave JCC a 13-12 lead at the half.

“You have to commit more people to the run against Curtis,” said Monica. “They’re so physical, they can maul you up front.

“We knew they have one of the better passing quarterbacks that they’ve had in years. We made some mistakes and he took advantage. But you can’t afford to just sit in your conventional defense and let them pound you.”

Curtis outgained SCC in total yardage, 407 to 253.

The big disparity came on the ground – the Patriots rushed for 168 yards, SCC only 38. But the Comets were plus-three in the turnover battle to even things out.

In any event, fans were left with the impression that these teams could meet again down the road.

“I told my kids, first of all, that we need to learn how to finish games. And secondly, that all of our overall goals are still in place…if we are who we say we are, then maybe we’ll have the chance to play someone like that again.”