Week 9: St. Charles at St. James, Friday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011



ST. JAMES — District 7-3A is within St. Charles’ grasp. Standing in their way is a St. James team that looks at the Comets as perhaps the best chance to salvage something from a lost, snakebitten season.

St. Charles coach Frank Monica has seen his team dominate for eight weeks in a row now, with none of the Comets’ victories coming by less than 28 points.

But while SCC (8-0, 3-0) is unbeaten, St. James is still desperately fighting for its first victory, at 0-8 and with no easy route to victory with the Comets and then Donaldsonville on tap.

St. James’ schedule to date reads like a murder’s row: West St. John, Destrehan, Patterson, Vandebilt Catholic, Assumption, Port Allen, Brusly and E.D. White. The Comets will be the third undefeated team the Wildcats have played this season, and not as in “Undefeated as of game-time”. Undefeated, as in “No losses to date.” Assumption, Patterson and St. Charles are a combined 23-0.

Monica knows the Wildcats, in their final home game of the season, may well be treating this as their Super Bowl, a chance to knock off Number One, the rank SCC has carried since it’s 42-0 Week One victory over Tate.

“They’re going to put a lot of emphasis on this game,” said Monica. “There will be a playoff-like atmosphere. We have to be ready for their best effort. You can’t allow them to get off to a fast start and grab the momentum.

“The way, for us, to stay on track is to take care of the football. They’re a big play team, and they’re opportunistic in all phases. We have to be aware of that.”

While Monica has been steadfast in his evaluation of District 7-3A as a balanced, powerful district from top to bottom, it would be easy for some to dismiss those claims if they were to look only at the results of the Comets’ games with those teams: SCC has won by scores of 49-8 over Donaldsonville, 48-0 over Port Allen and 35-0 over Brusly, suggesting the coach might be overselling his competition.

A closer look shows otherwise. Port Allen (11th), Brusly (18th) and Donaldsonville (26th) all are well within the 3A playoff picture in terms of power points, as is E.D. White (19th), who SCC will face in its final regular season game.

That suggests that Monica’s assessment was correct; the district currently houses five prospective playoff qualifiers. It also suggests that SCC, second in power points and which has outscored its competition by a ridiculous 362-25 margin, is having an even more special season than most realize.

It also suggests that St. James, a team that’s pushed all three of those teams despite myriad key injuries, is likely a much better team than it’s winless record indicates.

That said, there’s no question SCC goes into the game heavily favored. One factor squarely in the Comets’ corner is its most recent competition. Brusly, like St. James, is one of the few teams to run the Wing-T option offense. SCC recorded its fourth shutout of the season, and will be as familiar with the attack as ever a week later.

Still, Monica is aware that St. James can break off a big play at a moment’s notice.

“They’ve got so many playmakers. You can’t go in and say, ‘We’re going to take away one guy,’” he said.

SCC played its first full game without multiple-threat running back Marcus Hall (sidelined with a broken wrist) last week, but the rest of the Comets more than picked up the slack in its 35-0 win.

Lazedrick Thompson rushed 18 times for 178 yards and four touchdowns, including a 47-yard touchdown run to give SCC a 7-0 lead early. Donnie Savoie’s 46-yard touchdown pass to Chris Millet doubled that lead. Thompson would score twice more in the first half, while the defense once again proved especially adapt at preventing scores in the redzone, holding Brusly (5-3) scoreless despite two drives inside the SCC 20.

St. James got off to a positive start last week, leading 6-0 after a LaRohn Cambre 23-yard run.

A fumbled punt on a return attempt led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Colby Quatrevingt, making it a 7-6 Cardinals’ (4-4, 1-2) lead at half. The teams would not score in the third, but Quatrevingt scored again in the fourth from a yard away. Daniel Steib would add a 13-yard insurance score.