Comets refining attack at 7-on-7 passing league
Published 11:45 pm Friday, July 11, 2014
By RYAN ARENA
LAPLACE — St. Charles Catholic has long hosted an annual LaPlace 7-on-7 league, but this marks the first year the Comets have truly held the event at their home.
On Wednesday morning, SCC and its fellow competing teams completed their fifth week of the six-week passing league at St. Charles’ campus, the Comets going 2-1 in games against John Ehret, Higgins and Ponchatoula.
Twelve teams comprise the roster for this year’s league, which is in its seventh year of existence. The previous six years saw the competition take place on the fields outside the library on Louisiana Hwy. 51.
“We just can’t duplicate the speed we’re seeing out here in practice,” said St. Charles football coach Frank Monica, who coordinates the league. “It’s unbelievable to see the speed that’s out here and the pace of these scrimmages. We come out and run our system. We’re not going to see as many underneath routes when the real games begin, but this gives us a good look at our personnel when it comes to the passing game, offensively and defensively.”
Monica offered a reminder that his Comets will always aim for balance, but said the league has made “a world of difference” in preparing its passing attack over the years.
“We’re a run first team, but we need to be able to throw it when we want to,” Monica said. “We’re able to see matchups against some very quality players in the secondary.”
The Comets split their first two contests Wednesday, falling to Ehret while besting Higgins in the morning’s opener.
SCC made it a winning day, though, when it rallied past Ponchatoula in the Comets’ final game. Austin Weber tossed a touchdown pass to tight end Zach Maurin on SCC’s final offensive play, and the Comet defense held to preserve an 18-16 victory.
“It felt pretty good,” Weber said. “We came out with a lot of enthusiasm. Our defense stepped up in a big way. We started with a win and finished with a win, and that’s always good.”
The game winner was Maurin’s second touchdown catch of the game, the first one set up by a long completion by Weber to Dane Authement.
Weber connected with Erron Lewis for his second of three touchdown passes in the game.
“This is all about getting our timing down,” Weber said. “I’d been overthrowing Zach before, and things clicked there at the end. I’m feeling a lot of confidence in our receivers, be it Zack, Brady Becker, Dane Authement, Erron out the backfield. We’re putting in a lot of work and it is paying off.”
Monica called the day’s performance “ok” as a whole, noting there is still much work to be done in terms of learning the system and establishing strong technique. SCC has turned over much of its starting lineup from last season.
He echoed Weber’s praise of the team’s pass-catchers, though, a group Monica has been high on since the outset of spring.
“Authement and Becker are each having good summers,” Monica said. “Maurin gives us a big presence inside. We still need to get in sync, but these guys all played last year. We’re counting on them.”