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St. Charles outlasts De La Salle in three overtimes

LAPLACE – But when the St. Charles Catholic Comets needed one yard for a touchdown to end Friday night’s stalemate with the De La Salle Cavaliers in triple overtime,  Coach Frank Monica had a lot of choices he could go to.

His quarterback had scored one touchdown. He had a couple of good wide receivers. But running back Philip Tran hadn’t been able to get past the Cavaliers defense too often. So Monica made a bold choice, tapping his starting nose guard, sophomore Kaiden Jones for the task.

Jones proved to be worthy of the job, pushing his way into the end zone to give St. Charles a 26-23 win and  set off a celebration for the ages on the turf of Joe Keller Stadium in Reserve.

The game had to be moved because St. Charles Catholic’s new stadium was not completed in time. With East St. John on the road Friday afternoon, Joe Keller was available.

The Comets’ Carter Chauvin and the Cavaliers’ Terell Blanco had matched field goal for field goal in the first two overtimes after the game ended in a 14-14 tie. Blanco then had put De La Salle ahead 23-20 in the third overtime with a 27-yard field goal.

But on the first play of the Comets drive, quarterback Justin Dumas connected with Askea Armant, who did his best but was stopped just short of the end zone. Needing just one yard, Comets coach Frank Monica called on the sophomore offensive lineman who could push some people around.

Otherwise, Friday’s win belonged to the St. Charles defense, which forced three turnovers. Kaden Foster and Samuel Joyce nabbed interceptions and Mandel Eugene forced and recovered a fumble. Eugene also had a sack and 14 tackles on the night.

Offensively, the Comets struggled against a stiff De La Salle defense, which held them to 94 yards rushing and 51 yards passing. Dumas was 6 of 21 passing.

The Cavaliers moved the ball much better. Cole Millford opened with a pair of interceptions, but then completed his next 11 passes for 142 yards. He finished with a pair of incompletions in overtime.

P.J. Martin rushed for 75 yards and Montrell Johnson rushed for 58 and one touchdown.

St. Charles scored first, converting a Kaden Foster interception with 4:23 remaining in the first quarter when Dumas found Logan Forsythe for a 23-yard touchdown.

After Joyce’s interception, the Comets missed a 32-yard field goal on the second play of the second quarter.

The Cavaliers found their rhythm on their next possession, driving 80 yards on 10 plays to tie the game at 7. Milford connected with Gilmore, who spun away from a would-be tackler for a 9-yard score with 6:16 remaining in the half.

The Comets could not answer, leaving the score tied at 7 at the half.

After holding the Comets to 1 yard on their next possession, De La Salle took the lead with 7:10 remaining in the third quarter, driving from its own 21 to the Comets’ 8. On a wildcat play, Johnson ran in for the touchdown.

The two defenses battled for the rest of the third quarter and much of the fourth, but the Comets finally managed to tie the score before time ran out. Dumas connected with Brock Clement on two put pass plays to get the Comets into Cavs’ territory. Dumas finally broke free for a 14-yard touchdown with 1:36 remaining.