SCC fights for championship today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 7, 2019


LAPLACE – Those who know St. Charles Catholic head football coach Frank Monica know he is pretty good at what he does.

He’s been doing it for 50 years now, and this year he became the winningest coach in River Parishes history.

But after this season, you have to admit that Monica – or his team – is pretty darn lucky too. How else to explain how a team can survive not one but five overtime periods and escape with a miraculous finish in regulation?

“We’ve been lucky,” Monica said. “There were so many tough moments. But this team has been resilient. There’s the old expression, the harder you work the luckier you get. I believe that a little bit.”

So does senior defensive tackle Mason Narcisse, a Tulane commitment, who somehow burst through the line of scrimmage last Friday night to block Catholic of New Iberia’s PAT attempt to give the Comets a 43-42 win and sent St. Charles to the Division III state championship game today at 6 p.m. at Louisiana-Lafayette. The Comets, the No. 3 seed in the bracket, will face No. 1 seed Lafayette Christian for the title.

“That moment was just crazy,” Narcisse said. “When they called ‘hut,’ I saw the ball in the dude’s hands. I just got off the ball real fast and just went through the line. That was a special feeling. And when everybody stormed the field after, that was great.”

He said it also hurt a little.

“Oh man. I got tackled,” he said.

It was just the latest miracle finish for the Comets, who survived Lutcher with a 23-21 win thanks to a penalty, a sack and an incomplete pass in Week 2. In Week 3 the Comets needed three overtimes to beat De La Salle, 26-23. Kaiden Jones, normally a nose guard, scored the winning touchdown in that one.

Then there was Friday night’s huge win over Catholic of New Iberia, which required two overtimes before the Comets cinched the 43-42 win.

Now St. Charles has another mountain to climb, Monica said. Lafayette Christian is 11-1 and the defending Division IV state champion.

“They are a very talented team especially built for football,” Monica said. “They have linemen and some of the best athletes you’ll see in space. You don’t know who to stop first. They are loaded with ability and size and speed, so we have to be a composite team and hopefully be there when the fourth quarter comes around. You don’t know who to stop first.”

The Comets are battle-tested, though. This is St. Charles’ fifth finals appearance, its first since 2016. The Comets were state champions in 2011, runners-up in 2005, 2006 and 2016. And there is only minimal disappointment that the game is not being played inside the storied Mercedes Benz Superdome.

“You still get to play for that ring,” said senior offensive lineman Evan Roussel. “It’s just a different place to play. It’s still a dream come true. The atmosphere is going to be great. We’re looking forward to it.”

But they might just have a little luck on their side this season.

“Yes, and God,” Narcisse said. “We prepare very well in practice so it kind of translates to the field. When everybody else doesn’t have that stamina and heart to get it done, we just have that heart to fight. We’ve got to win.”

Added Roussel: “It definitely takes a little more heart. ”

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