Hall scores five TDs as Comets roll past Newman

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 2, 2010



LAPLACE — Marcus Hall gave himself a tough act to follow when he scored three touchdowns in a St. Charles victory over Newman a year ago. Unfortunately for the Greenies, the electrifying tailback proved to be even more of a thorn in their side this time around.

Hall rushed for 213 yards and scored five times as the Comets remained undefeated and moved to 2-0 within District 9-2A with a 41-24 victory over Newman.

St. Charles (5-0) entered the game ranked sixth in the Louisiana Sportswriters Association Class 2A poll and atop the classification in power points. Newman (3-2) carried rankings of ninth and sixth respectively into the game.

“A lot of people picked us to finish fourth in this district, and we’ve always felt we were better than that,“ said Hall. “We feel like we can play against anyone. We have the heart, the intensity, and as long as that’s the case, we’ll keep on winning.”

Hall scored four of his touchdowns on the ground and added a fifth on the Comets’ first kick return of the night, a 99-yard jaunt.

“What more can you say about him?” asked St. Charles coach Frank Monica. “With his injury last year, I don’t think people really saw what he’s capable of. With Lazedrick (Thompson), we can keep him fresh, and he’s really able to get after it.”

That return came after Newman slugged out a 14-play drive to begin the game that resulted in a Richard Brennan 28-yard field goal. Newman drove to the SCC 12, but the Comets stopped a third and two run for no gain to force the kick.

Hall immediately answered with SCC’s longest play of the season to lift the Comets to a 7-3 lead.

“I thought my back foot was in the endzone, so I was surprised when they didn’t blow it dead,” said Hall with a smile. “So I took off and kept going.”

Said Monica: “What an answer to a field goal.”

The Comets took a more methodical approach to their next drive, going 80 yards in 13 plays, capping the drive with an 11-yard Hall run for a score. The extra point kick attempt was no good, leaving SCC ahead 13-3 with 3:58 left in the second quarter.

The next series of plays swung each team’s fortunes as much as any. Odell Beckham, Jr. broke free for the Greenies on a 48-yard run down to the SCC 15. But Jared Keating came up with the big stop two plays later, intercepting quarterback Ryan Brenner off a deflected pass.

The Comets appeared content to run out the clock with under a minute left, but Hall had other ideas, taking a handoff 84 yards to the house with just 36 seconds left in the first half, putting SCC ahead 20-3.

Newman would push back though, relying on Beckham to keep them in the game. The Greenies’ top playmaker came up with a 31-yard touchdown reception over the top of the SCC defense to make it 20-10 with 1:48 left in the third quarter.

But again, SCC’s special teams victimized Newman when John Wood came up with a kickoff return of 63 yards to the SCC 26. Hall scored on a run out of the Wildcat to make it 27-10.

“I don’t know that anyone else puts quite as much emphasis on special teams that we do,” said Monica. “But at the same time, it comes down to the guys making the plays. I can’t say enough about John, about Marcus, and about our kids covering their assignments.”

Newman responded early in the fourth quarter when Beckham scored on a 7-yard run with 10:48 left in regulation to cap a 78-yard drive — he set up that score with an acrobatic 42-yard reception earlier in the drive. Newman trailed by 10.

“(Beckham) ran over, around and through us,” said Monica. “He’s a tremendous playmaker.”

But it was a last gasp. The Comets chewed up over seven minutes on its next drive, including a key fourth-and-six conversion on a 15-yard pass from Donnie Savoie to Jeffrey Hall with 7:06 remaining.

“I asked the guys, ‘Do you want to go, or do you want to punt it?’ And they would have run me out of this stadium if I’d have kicked. It’s a confident group. And it was just a huge conversion. Without that, Newman’s making a push.”

Marcus Hall capped the drive with his fifth score, from four yards out. Newman would score one final time on Beckham’s Tim Tebow-esque leaping 1-yard touchdown pass to Jon Drennan, but SCC recovered the ensuing onside kick.

SCC’s Lazedrick Thompson rushed for 97 yards on the night and added one final score in the waning moments.

“They gave us fits. That game just ended in time for us,” said Monica. “Newman deserves a lot of credit. That’s a good team that I just hope we don’t have to see again. But our kids hung in. They’re resilient. And I’m tickled to death to come away with a win.”