St. Charles Catholic rides jamboree momentum into Southern Lab opener

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013


St. Charles Catholic has its swagger back after a 21-14 victory over Riverside in last week’s jamboree, a contest the Comets led throughout.
But now, the question on the mind of SCC coach Frank Monica is: Which Comets team will run out onto Thomas J. Dupuy Memorial Stadium Friday night for its season opener against a talented Southern Lab team? The one that controlled the action Friday against Riverside, or the one that struggled mightily a week earlier in scrimmage action against University?
“The jamboree was good for our team from a gaining confidence standpoint,” said Monica. “But this is the opener. We didn’t gain any power points last week. The games count starting now, and opening against a team like Southern Lab, I’m a little concerned because I don’t know who’s gonna be coming out that locker room.”
The Comets (ranked eighth in the first LSWA Class 3A poll) will be favored against the 1A Kittens. But Southern Lab boasts a huge team up front offensively, one not only atypical of other 1A teams, but prep teams in general. The Kittens went 10-3 last season and will look to build on that success with an upset over a longtime state power.
“You look at them up front, their center is 280,” said Monica. “They go 310, 270, 275 … they average 280 pounds along the line. Those are pro sizes. So to say the least, we don’t have a good matchup there.”
Curtlan Williams is the player to watch for Southern Lab, a wide receiver who was named honorable mention on last season’s Class 1A All-State team.
“He’s electric,” said Monica. “We need to deny him the ball, because he’ll make you miss. If he gets it, we might miss him twice. He’s that sudden.”
Monica said that Southern Lab loves to test secondaries with repeated shots deep down the field, and he said it would be important to make the Kittens work for their points.
On the Comets’ end of things, the improvement from the team’s scrimmage performance to its jamboree win Friday night came down to the team rediscovering its identity, Monica said.
“We went back to basics, to doing what we do best,” he said. “We’re a ball control team that moves the chains, hits on short passes and keeps it on the ground. We kept our defense fresh and gave ourselves a chance to get up and play hard on defense every time out.”
To do that, it takes strong offensive line play. Monica said he had challenged his line to step up all summer, and on Friday night he saw the kind of effort he’d demanded.
“I was very pleased with our offensive line and the way they responded,” said Monica. “That group is led by Patrick Juneau. I thought our center, Jordan Hitt, played extremely well. And our tight ends, Zach Maurin and Sean Alonzo, both did a really nice job in that area.”