Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2011



LAPLACE — A concern of St. Charles Catholic coach Frank Monica, at the moment, is the energy level and mental focus that he saw from his team at practice early this week. With Jeanerette on the slate on Friday, and district play opening next week, he worries that his team’s state of mind may not be where it needs to be.

But certainly, on the field, his team has left him little to fret about over the first four weeks.

The Comets, Class 3A’s top-ranked team, moved to 4-0 via its most dominating effort of the season, a 55-2 victory over Miller McCoy that saw SCC score 49 first half points.

Defensively, St. Charles kept up its suffocating play. It shut out a Lions offense that boasted a quarterback in Norbert Ralph that entered the game leading the state in passing with 941 yards and 12 touchdowns. Ralph passed for just 141 on Friday. McCoy’s only points came on a safety secured after am interception by SCC’s Jeffrey Hall was called out at the Comet 1; the second team offense was stopped in the endzone on the next play.

St. Charles’ first team scored on all eight of its possessions before leaving the game after the first possession of the second half. SCC led 21-0 after just 6:24 of game action after two Lazedrick Thompson touchdown runs and a Nick Montagut interception return for a score. The Comets would get one more first quarter score to take a 28-0 lead after Thompson scored his third touchdown of the game.

He’d finish with 114 yards and four touchdowns on the night.

“We put a lot of emphasis this week on ball security and putting points on the board,” said Thompson. “Everyone did their job tonight.”

Brandon Zimmer and Marcus Hall added rushing touchdowns. Donnie Savoie completed 8 of his 12 attempts for 161 yards and one score, on a 1-yard pass to Michael Millet.

Monica said that his defense was able to contain Ralph because every unit, from the line to the linebackers to the secondary, did its job.

“Our defense really accepted the challenge tonight,” said Monica. “We knew that we’d have to get pressure up front and have good coverage behind them. It goes hand in hand. You need one to aid the other. We were able to force three and outs and play on a short field.”

The Lions began the game by crowding the box and daring SCC to pass. Savoie and the Comet receivers made them pay. McCoy caught the Comets in a second and 29 situation on SCC’s first possession; Savoie dialed up Sammy Miller for gains of 21 and 34 yards to set up SCC’s first touchdown.

We didn’t anticipate them crowding the line as much as they did, since we’re able to throw a little bit. Our receivers did a good job running precise routes and Donnie got the ball to them,” said Monica.

This Friday’s matchup represents a rematch of a first round playoff meeting between St. Charles and Jeanerette. The Comets won that game decisively, 51-6.

The Tigers (2-2) are coming off of back to back wins over Northwest and Morgan City to even their record. They bring back 17 starters after going 5-6 a year ago.

“We provided them plenty of motivation, ending their season a year ago,” said Monica. “I hope that we can match their intensity and that our players understand just how important every game is.”

Monica praised Tigers’ running back Abdul Tate, a 5-foot-9-inch, 185 pound junior that is ranked among the top rushers in the state.

“He’s really good, a real hard, hard-nosed runner,” said Monica. “We can’t allow the big play. And against a runner like this, we have to gang tackle. Everyone on our defense needs to flow to the football.”

Monica said that he was not pleased with what he felt was a somewhat lackadaisical effort by his team at practice Monday, and said that he expected — and would demand — a spike upward in that area.

“Teams can make you miss a block, make you miss a tackle,” he said. “But no team can stop you from playing hard or knowing your assignments.

“Some people may disagree, but our team is one that needs to play hard to even be competitive. And it’s important that everyone here understands that.”