Comets prep for Panthers option attack

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2011



LAPLACE — So far, so very, very good for the St. Charles Comets in 2011.

SCC is two-for-two this regular season with each win coming in decisive fashion, on the road, and against a foe from a higher classification. The latest came in the Comets’ 48-7 win at 4A Vandebilt Catholic.

St. Charles moved to the top spot in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A ranking last week, and Friday’s victory did nothing but reinforce its position in that spot.

This Friday, Class 5A Northshore visits SCC for the Comets’ home opener.

The Panthers (1-1) defeated Salmen, 17-14 in their season opener. But the team stumbled against Chalmette, 37-7, last week.

St. Charles coach Frank Monica noted Northshore quarterback Steven Gaines as a serious threat, and the Panthers’ big offensive line the fuel for a dangerous triple-option attack.

“They run that triple-option real well out of a spread formation,” said Monica. “We have to stop (Gaines) first. Their backs are very good as well. If they control the line of scrimmage, it will be a long night for us.”

Monica said that St. Charles has seen the triple option in recent memory, though not this season. But Northshore, he said, throws a few unique wrinkles into their attack.

“We’ll see a lot of speed motion, the jet sweep, and they throw passes off of it,” he said. “They’re also very good on special teams, and they do things in that area that you don’t see a lot of.”

St. Charles (2-0) opened up a big halftime lead on Friday with a pair of scores late in the first half, making it 28-7. The Comets’ scored on the opening drive of the second half on Lazedrick Thompson’s 20-yard touchdown run. That was his second score of the night.

Marcus Hall continued to supply big plays. His 61-yard run set up a short Thompson score in the first half; his 59-yard catch and run from Donnie Savoie went for another touchdown, and he’d add another rushing score later.

Savoie provided offensive balance with his play at the quarterback position, completing eight of his nine passing attempts, including three touchdown tosses.

“We were able to put together a balanced attack, which was important,” said Monica. “We knew we couldn’t just go out and run on them every down. Donnie (Savoie) had a strong night throwing the ball. He was accurate.

“It’s a big win, especially against a team that we’ve had a few back and forth fights with over the past few years.”

When asked about his team’s top-ranking, Monica said that he was not sure if St. Charles had ever been ranked first in football — it’s been a long time, if so, he said. He downplayed the ranking, but conceded that it does create a positive buzz for the SCC program, which he said is always welcome.

“I don’t put a lot of stock in those rankings, because it isn’t like the college game. The champion is determined on the field, not by a rankings system,” he said. “But it is always good to know that there are people who think highly of our program and see us as worthy of that spot.”

While the offensive numbers speak loudly, SCC has allowed just seven points over two games defensively.

Monica cited safety Macky Cortez as one player who has stepped up and done a strong job over the first two weeks, as well as the preparation efforts of his assistant coaches.

“We try to take away what the opposition does best, and so far this season I think we’ve been able to do that,” he said.