Comets get no ordinary 22 seed in Winnfield

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 23, 2010



LAPLACE – Fresh off of what St. Charles coach Frank Monica ranks as one of, if not the best comeback win of his tenure with the Comets, his team finds itself on the door step of a second consecutive trip to the Class 2A semifinals.

That said, nothing will come easy.

The Comets’ opponent Friday is Winnfield, they of the 22nd seed and dual upsets. Winnfield defeated No. 11 South Beauregard, 28-21, then moved on to down No. 6 Episcopal, 33-22.

The No. 3 Comets (11-1) are next in their crosshairs, and this clearly is no ordinary lower-seed.

Winnfield (8-4) was bitten by the injury this season. It lost standout tailback/wide receiver Alonzo Moore for two district games – both losses. It was missing linebacker Kamonte Wilson for half a season as he recovered from knee surgery.

But with those players back in the fold, Winnfield has been a different team. With Wilson out, the Tigers allowed 29.6 points per game through its first five. But with Wilson back, Winnfield has now allowed 63 points over its last four, or an average of 15.75 points per game.

“From what I understand, this is a team that’s similar to Farmerville,” said St. Charles coach Frank Monica. “So it gets no easier from here.”

Episcopal and South Beauregard had a combined single loss before meeting Winnfield.

Much like St. Charles faced in Farmerville’s strong rushing attack led by Demadre Richardson, Winnfield brings a lethal rushing punch to the fold. Moore and Trey Gilbert lead the way for the Tiger offense, and Episcopal had no answers on Friday. Gilbert rushed for 221 yards and a score while Alonzo Moore ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-22 win.

The Tigers are no one-trick pony though, as quarterback Stephen Duncan has victimized foes through the air. He passed for a score and ran for another from a yard away, setting the latter up with a 24-yard pass.

This is the first quarterfinal game for the Tigers since 2000. For St. Charles, it is the school’s fifth trip to the quarterfinals in the last seven years (3A or 2A).

For the Comets, beyond Winnfield comes another challenge: not having a letdown after an emotional victory last week over Farmerville. St. Charles trailed 19-8 in the fourth quarter, but a pair of touchdown drives led by quarterback Donnie Savoie – including a game-winning touchdown pass on third-and-two to Harley Scioneaux with 59-seconds left – lifted the Comets to a win.

SCC scored all of its points in the second half, including a 34-yard Savoie to Marcus Hall touchdown pass, and a Hall halfback pass to John Wood for a score.

The win was all the more impressive when considering how it came. A bigger, stronger Farmers team dominated time of possession and held the ball almost the entire third quarter. A tired Comets defense had to come up with a key a fourth quarter stop, and a cold offense had to find its rhythm.

“At times, it really looked bad for us,” said Savoie. “But we never got down on ourselves. We had to keep believing.”

Scioneaux’s touchdown catch — getting his feet just down after a catch in the back of the endzone — likely became an iconic moment in Comets’ history, and it capped off a breakout performance for the tight end. Scioneaux hauled in numerous key completions throughout the fourth quarter.

“They trusted me, they called my number, and I knew what I had to do,” Scioneaux said. “I knew I had to go up and get it.

“It means a lot. I feel like I have their confidence now, and I know I helped my team to a big win.”