Comets, Rebels & Rams win; advance to 3rd round of playoffs

Published 11:06 pm Friday, November 18, 2016

LAPLACE — There will be no week off for the Riverside Academy, St. Charles Catholic and West St. John High football teams.

All three survived their second round playoff games this week and will be practicing and playing as usual.

The turkey can just wait.

The St. Charles Catholic Comets may not be an offensive juggernaut, but they sure can play some defense when they need to.

The Comets, the No. 3 seed, shut out No. 6 Calvary Baptist, a team that scored 57 points and amassed 629 yards last week, 21-0.

St. Charles will play No. 2 seed and defending Division III state champion Notre Dame in next week’s semifinals.

St. Charles (9-2) kept the Eagles out of the end zone thanks to three fourth down stands, a fumble recovery by multi-purpose player Lloyd Nash and an interception by Wesley Melancon.

The Comets also blocked an Eagles punt, which led to a score.

Calvary quarterback Cade Hart passed for 122 yards and running back Kordavion Washington rushed for 110, but neither was effective at getting around the Comets.

Nash, who played quarterback, defensive back and was the holder on PATs, rushed for 87 yards and scored two short-yardage touchdowns. He passed for 117 yards. Phillip Tran also ran for a score.

The Eagles (7-4) found out early this would be no shootout. Their opening drive went from the 20 to the Comets’ 25 on six plays, largely thanks to one 46-yard pass.

But Hart threw incomplete on fourth-and-16 at the Comets’ 25 and the Eagles turned the ball over on downs.

St. Charles came back with a 15-play, 76-yard drive that stalled at the Eagles’ 1-yard line.

The Comets got their first break when Hart threw to Washington on a second-and-19 from the Eagles’ 47-yard line. Washington fumbled at the Comets’  34 and Nash recovered.

On second down, Nash found Rhett LeBlanc for a 45-yard completion to the Eagles’ 17. Two plays later, Nash scored from the 1 to give the Comets a 7-0 lead with 6:46 remaining in the half.

St. Charles got another break when Melancon stepped in front of a Hart pass at the Comets’ 5-yard line with 3:48 to play in the half.

The Comets drove to the Eagles’ 27, but a pair of penalties pushed them back to the 33. With one second remaining in the half, Andrew Rodrigue’s 50-yard field goal attempt was just wide left.

St. Charles opened the second half with a 10-play, 67-yard drive that was capped by Nash’s second touchdown of the night from 3-yards out with 7:08 on the clock. Along the way Narquez Jones ran for a 24-yard gain.

The Comets’ defense held the Eagles to one yard on their next possession, with Nash breaking up a pair of Hart passes. On fourth-and-9 at the Eagles 21, Jared Babesh led the way on a blocked punt. The Comets took over at the Eagles’ 20 but turned the ball over two plays later when Nash was intercepted.

The Comets again held Calvary off, forcing the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs at their 11-yard line with 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

St. Charles then put together its final scoring drive using 13 plays. Tran scored from the Eagles’ 8 with 4:52 remaining in the game.

Riverside 48, Ouachita Christian 17

In Monroe Thursday night, the No. 1 seeded Riverside Rebels spotted Ouachita Christian a 10-point lead before rattling off 48 unanswered points.

The Rebels scored three times in the second quarter and four times in the third quarter to put the game away.

Riverside (10-1) advances to the Division III semifinals to play the winner between No. 12 Newman and No. 4 Catholic High of New Iberia.

A win on Nov. 25 would send the Rebels to the finals in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the second year in a row.

Jeremy Gibson scored three touchdowns, finishing with 125 yards on 14 carries.

Louis Cheneau scored one touchdown.

Quarterback Jordan Loving was 15 of 22 for 239 yards and two touchdowns, plus he ran for a score. Jared Butler was 6 of 10 for 86 yards.

Riverside finished with 191 rushing yards.

The Eagles scored on a halfback pass and a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter, then would not score again until the fourth quarter. In between, Riverside’s defense held the Eagles to seven first downs and sacked quarterback Grant Fitzhugh five times.

West St. John 65, S. Plaquemines 37

The Rams continued to be the Cinderella story of the Class 2A bracket, upsetting No. 8 seed South Plaquemines Friday night after trailing 21-0 in the first quarter.

Austin Alexander rushed 196 yards and three touchdowns and passed for two more scores.

They will face No. 1 seed Many in next week’s quarterfinals.