Tigers to test Comets

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011



LAPLACE — Through five games, it’s been smooth sailing for the St. Charles Comets.

The team is the top-ranked squad in Class 3A, a distinction it’s held since a decisive 42-0 victory at Tate in the opening week. The Comets have outscored their opponents by a whopping margin, 230-17, and have flashed the ability to get it done in all areas of the game.

But St. Charles (5-0) will face one of its stiffest tests to date in its District 7-3A opener on Friday night. SCC hosts an explosive Donaldsonville squad that entered the season with the expectation of contending for a state championship, and carries a record of 2-3 that is likely misleading.

Donaldsonville has played one of the roughest predistrict schedules of any team in the state. Its three losses have come to Assumption (No. 5 in 4A), Dutchtown (No. 2 in 5A) and McDonogh No. 35, three teams that have combined for a record of 12-3. The Tigers went 9-2 a season ago, falling to Calvary Baptist in the Class 2A postseason; both the Comets and Tigers have just moved up from Class 2A to Class 3A.

Donaldsonville’s offense is led by quarterback Devon Breaux, a Tulane commitment and a dual threat senior who St. Charles coach Frank Monica said puts all kinds of pressure on a defense with his ability to not only pass, but run, proficiently.

“He can beat you two different ways, with his arm or his legs,” said Monica. “If you cover, he can pull it down and run. So that means we have to be disciplined in our rush lanes. And we have to be good as far as tackling and flowing to the ball. We call it, ‘Roll call to the ball.’ You have to gang tackle.”

Donaldsonville defeated Class 1A Block, 56-0, last week. Breaux entered that game as the state’s leading passer; at press time, statewide statistics had not yet been accumulated, but if he remains at the top Friday will mark the second time this season SCC has been faced with the state’s leading passer at the time, after the Comets stifled then-leader Norbert Ralph III in a Week Four win over Miller McCoy.

Breaux will throw to a group of talented receivers, including Drew Rosemond and Leandre James. Senior running back Tre Brown is also a dangerous weapon.

“They play basketball on grass. They throw a lot of jump balls and they’ll out-athlete you for them,” said Monica. “A lot of no-huddle, very fast paced. We can’t simulate their speed in practice.

“For us, it comes down to stopping the big play. We need to get off the field defensively and then on offense, we need to move the chains. Even if we don’t score, get first downs and keep that positive momentum on our side.”

St. Charles’ 49-0 win last week over Jeanerette saw the Comets built a big lead in a hurry, just as it had a week prior against McCoy. After forcing a Lions’ three-and-out, Marcus Hall took the ensuing punt 35 yards for a score to make it 7-0. A little over four minutes later, Lazedrick Thompson converted a score on another short field to make to 14-0 on an eight-yard run.

The Comets scored again on a 2-yard run to make it 21-0 just before the end of the first quarter, after Donnie Savoie connected with tight end Michael Millet for 58 yards to set it up.

SCC never looked back. Linebacker Nick Montagut scored on a fumble recovery, his second straight week recording a defensive score. Hall added two more touchdowns, one on a 10-yard run, the other on a second punt return of 49-yards; he’d record almost as many touchdowns (three) as rush attempts (four) on the night. Austin Weber also scored to round things out for the Comets, who led 49-0 at halftime and rested the starters thereafter.

SCC held Abdul Tate, who entered the game fifth in the state in rushing, to 10 yards on 20 carries. Jeanerette totaled just eight yards of offense.

The Comet offensive starters played just 13 snaps.

Monica knows a victory this Friday won’t come nearly as easily.

He concedes that a district game may not mean what it once did; with so much emphasis on power points, he notes, every game carries similar importance toward playoff position.

But these games still offer a different challenge.

“Your district games are with teams in such close proximity to you,” he said. “It automatically creates rivalries. People know all about you, your system, and your schemes. It’s not like playing someone from across the state. There aren’t many surprises in these games.”