St. Charles Catholic chases big victory with follow-up test against East Ascension

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Days after his St. Charles Catholic Comets ended Class 4A champion East Jefferson’s 16-game winning streak, coach Frank Monica had a message for his team.

This upcoming game, he said, is even bigger than the last.

Class 5A East Ascension visits SCC Friday night, a Spartans team Monica said offers a number of different challenges from the team the Comets just faced. 

No. 1 on the list? Sheer size.

“In that regard, we matched up well with East Jefferson, more than the other opponents we’ve faced,” Monica said. “East Ascension is a bigger, heavier football team. They’ve got more players and they can run a true platoon system. They’ll be 50 pounds bigger than we are across the board.”

Last season, East Ascension’s Sione Palelei was the star of the show in a 42-19 Spartans win. He rushed for 164 yards on seven carries, caught four passes for 155 yards and scored five touchdowns to blister the Comet defense. 

Palelei is gone, but Monica hasn’t forgotten the issues SCC (2-0) had with tackling in that game.

“They’ve got two big running backs, both guys in excess of 220 pounds,” Monica said. “They’ve really hard to tackle. We didn’t do such a good job last year in that regard. They run a lot of bubble screens as well. 

“The bottom line is we have to stop the run. And the key is going to be tackling.”

In the wake of SCC’s dominating 49-14 win over East Jefferson, the coach said a key for him this week is to get the attention of his team. He said the victory over a Warriors team that hadn’t lost in over a year could be a blast off point for a tremendous season, but it won’t amount to much if the Comets get complacent and regress this week.

“This is a huge game for us,” Monica said. “Last week’s win showed that we do have another level we can take it to. The kids recognize that. But if we fall back, it doesn’t mean a whole lot.”

East Ascension (1-1) split its first two games of the season, falling to Plaquemine in the first week before rallying for a 42-27 win over Patterson last week.  

The Spartans are led by star Joshua Walker, who racked up 200 all-purpose yards in the opening 42-27 win over Patterson.