Comets prepare for quarterfinal challenge against Parkview Baptist

Published 1:37 am Wednesday, November 23, 2022

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LAPLACE — The St. Charles Catholic Comets have a chance to make history with back-to-back state titles as they soar into the Division III quarterfinals against No. 10 Parkview Baptist.

The second-seeded Comets came out flat against No. 15 Ascension Episcopal this past Friday before exploding in the second half and holding on for a 49-17 win.

Coach Wayne Stein expected the Blue Gators would present a tremendous special teams challenge courtesy of Georgia commit kicker Peyton Woodring. The Comets were down 17-7 at the half after finally reaching the scoreboard in the second quarter on a 46-yard touchdown run from Ayden Authement.

“Exactly like I thought, they made us start every drive at the 20, kicking in the end zone,” Stein said. “We came out of the half reeling and then exploded in the third quarter. We scored 35 points on four offensive touchdowns and a defensive scoop and score.”

The action started with Authement’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Semare Scott to cut the Comets’ deficit to three points. St. Charles took the lead, 21-17, on a subsequent touchdown run from Scott. Logan Barrios increased the lead with a 29-yard fumble return for a touchdown before Authement connected with Brady Clement on a touchdown pass. Davon Stirgus added another score for the Comets to close out the third 42-17.

The Comets continued to keep the Blue Gators at bay in the fourth quarter. The final touchdown of the game came out of a 40-yard run by Scott to secure the 49-17 win.

“We imposed our will and put the game away. We played much better and didn’t allow the special teams to go against us. It was actually in our favor at that point,” Stein said.

However, Stein said coming to life in the second half won’t be enough to take down Parkview Baptist, a traditional football power within the division. Parkview Baptist shut out Holy Savior Menard 31-0 in the first round of the playoffs and upset No. 7 North Caddo 28-24 in the second. The Eagles have 10 wins and two losses for the season, comparable to the Comets’ eight wins and three losses.

The Comets will have to stay focused during this week’s road game. According to Stein, the Eagles perform well on special teams and offensively.

“They are going to be physical, and they are going to come out to win. We aren’t going to be able to play two quarters to win. We are going to have to play well all four quarters,” Stein said. “They have an excellent running back, No. 7. It kind of begins and ends with him. Their quarterback does a great job of running their system. They aren’t just a spread offense or a run offense. They can do a little bit of everything. They can put some extra linemen in there. You have to be prepared for every facet of it. Defensively, they kind of start in the stack, and they’ll get in multiple looks. They don’t really let you settle yourselves down.”

Nearing the end of a season laced with injuries, St. Charles Catholic has returned most starters to the field. Two notable exceptions are Ian Arnett, who tore his ACL in Week Nine, and wide receiver Dane Galliano, also facing surgery after a tear to his labrum.

“There was a time we were playing without nine starters, and for the most part a lot of those guys are back,” Stein said. “We are about as healthy as we can be at the right time.”