Lusher at St. Charles Catholic

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2014


LAPLACE — As St. Charles Catholic gets set to celebrate its “Senior Night” this Friday at home against Lusher, the Comets have some very tangible goals to reach over the next two weeks.

Most importantly, two wins would almost certainly sew up a first round bye for SCC, a boon when considering how deep and talented the Division II slate projects to be: there should be no easy postseason games.

“It’s important for us to play well for our seniors and for those senior parents that’ll be in attendance,” SCC coach Frank Monica said. “Even more, for us, it’ll mean a good bit in power points (to win). I hope our kids understand the importance of these games. (Lusher) is a very capable team. If they stay away from mistakes, they can really scare the pants off you.”

Currently, St. Charles (6-2, 2-1) is ranked sixth in Class 3A power rankings, with Lusher at No. 24.

In the Class 3A poll, SCC ranks No. 4, behind University, Curtis and Union Parish. But Curtis will “play up” in the postseason to Division I, while Union Parish will compete in the Class 3A non-select bracket. SCC currently ranks second behind U-High in rank and power points among teams ticketed for the Division II postseason.

Lusher (4-4, 0-2) has lost two straight games, to McMain and John Curtis,  stunting the momentum the Lions had built with three decisive wins in the prior four games.

Though the Lions offense has sputtered over the past two weeks, it has shown explosiveness throughout the season. Lusher (4-4, 0-2) averages 33.8 points per game behind an attack led by running back Joshua Barney. Barney rushed for 177 yards on 25 carries in Lusher’s loss to McMain two weeks ago.

“He’s a hard-nosed kid,” Monica said. “We have to tackle well. We’ve had a problem getting guys to the ground.”

Quarterback Eli Poche, meanwhile, suffered a wrist injury against Curtis. He gave way to backup Louis Landrum III, who typically plays receiver for the Lions. Landrum led a second-quarter touchdown drive against Curtis and repeatedly connected with Diego Griffin, who finished the game with 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.

“He was their quarterback last year,” Monica said of Landrum. “We’re not sure which one will play, but when they had to switch last week, they didn’t change the offense at all. That concerns us. He may be a better runner (than Poche). Whoever is back there, they’re behind an offensive line that is really, really big.”

Lusher hung around for most of three quarters against the Patriots, with a late third quarter Patriots rushing touchdown making it 34-14 and putting things out of reach.

“They played Curtis pretty close, really, in the first half,” Monica said. “They’re not one-dimensional offensively, they’re very diverse. They throw bubble screens well, and they throw it deep. They make you defend the entire field.”

When Lusher gets the run cranked up, Monica said, they can create some true matchup issues for opponents.

“They like to put their two big tackles next to one another, side by side, in certain situations and run behind those two,” Monica said. “It’s been very effective for them. They substitute a lot, and we have to be very aware of who is in the game at what time. When they send their tight end in, when they have extra receivers or two backs in there … they can move the ball effectively from any set, but we don’t want to allow them to put us in a disadvantageous situation.”