SCC looks to avenge ‘09 losses at Curtis

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 19, 2010



LAPLACE – St. Charles was less than a minute away from a major upset of John Curtis at this time last season, falling in the final minute of the district clash between the teams on Bryce Jenkins’ 1-yard touchdown run, 19-18.

Once again, John Curtis enters as the district favorite. And once again, St. Charles enters undefeated.

But these Comets (7-0, 4-0) are much younger than SCC’s senior-laden squad a year ago that went on to fall in the state semifinals to those same Patriots, and SCC coach Frank Monica hopes his team understands exactly what type of game its in for on Friday night.

“I’m not sure they’re ready for what they’re about to see, and it’s a major league fastball,” said Monica. “We’ve played a good schedule, and these kids have seen a fastball. But not a Major League fastball like Curtis brings. It’s hard to put into words the depth of the Curtis program. And by depth I don’t mean the number of players, but how fundamentally sound and physical they are. You won’t catch them out of position. We’ll need some breaks and the turnover battle will be crucial.”

Curtis (6-1, 4-0) has lost just once this season, to Class 4A No. 1 Salmen, 28-21. JCC has won four straight since then by a combined score of 197-44.

The Patriots boast multiple threats offensively. Quarterback Brandon Bourgeois, tailback Quincy Smith and receiver Josh Hanberry are among the top JCC producers in the vaunted Patriots’ veer offense.

Monica said that scheming against the triple option concerns him less than the mismatches Curtis enjoys up front and the team’s level of execution.

“They’re methodical in what they do, and they blow you off the ball,” said Monica. “It’s the play of that offensive line. When you look at how big they are, really on both sides of the ball … it’s not an even matchup. We need our kids to play with heart. And really, we need to play over our heads against a team that has no weaknesses.”

The Comets have already played in and won some hyped matchups this season. In district play alone, SCC has won two games against fellow ranked foes in Class 2A, first against Newman and most recently against rival Riverside on Friday night.

The Comets twice built leads of 14 points. In the first half, the Comets led 14-0 after touchdown runs by Marcus Hall (12 yards) and Lazedrick Thompson (39 yards), the second a rumbling run that saw Thompson break away after appearing to be stopped by multiple Rebel defenders.

Riverside roared back late in the first half to tie the game. But the Comets forced three second half turnovers – including a Brady Hitt interception return for a touchdown to cap things off. SCC also made key conversions on offense. Donnie Savoie’s 41-yard touchdown pass to Jeffrey Hall came on a jump ball in a sea of Rebel defenders; Hall brought it in and broke away for a score.

“We practice the jump ball all week,” said Hall. “Coach tells us we have to come down with it, and I did what I had to.”

Just as key was an unlikely conversion on third-and-35 in which Marcus Hall lined up in the Wildcat and ran a draw, racing up the middle and finding enough daylight to convert the first.

SCC will have to come up with those types of plays and then some as it travels to play Curtis on Friday.

Monica said early this week that he did not believe his team was yet practicing with the intensity it needed to in order to compete with a team on the Patriots’ level.

“I don’t feel we’re ready yet, based on what I saw (Monday), said Monica. “It’s a heck of a challenge for us.

“Hopefully our kids look at it as an opportunity, and aren’t intimidated by the magnitude of the game.”