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Unbeaten East Ascension provides big challenge for SCC Comets

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  • George Becnel
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  • September 26, 2018 - 6:08pm

File photosSt. Charles Catholic coach Frank Monica needs his Comets to beat East Ascension on Friday night in Laplace to avoid falling below .500 for the season.

In St. Charles Catholic’s 11-10 loss last week at Country Day, the Comets had their chances.

A Comets fumble in the red zone right before the end of the first half could have stretched SCC’s scant 7-0 lead to a two-touchdown advantage. Leading 10-0 in the fourth quarter, St. Charles allowed two big pass plays to allow the Cajuns to rally. Three-consecutive penalties against SCC on Country Day’s two-point conversion attempt left the ball only inches away from the goal line as the Cajuns converted for the victory.

“All those things take place when you lose. When you win, you look for reasons. When you lose, you look for excuses. There are no excuses. They played better and they played with a lot more heart than we did,” St. Charles coach Frank Monica.

While the defense put up a gallant fight for three quarters, a struggling Comet offense went into the game with a pair of quarterbacks who hadn’t practiced all week leading into the game.

“Sutton Bourgeois was injured so all he could do was hand the ball off last week. The other kid (Justin Dumas) didn’t practice at all. The doctor wouldn’t let him practice all week. We went into the game not even intending to play him but he had to play when we found out Bourgeois couldn’t throw,” Monica explained.

The next task for the 2-2 Comets comes on Friday night when they host 4-0 East Ascension, the third-ranked team in Class 5A.

“They will be the prettiest football team you ever want to see getting off the bus. They are long. They are athletic. They are strong. They are a team that easily could end up in the Superdome on the 5A level,” Monica said.

The pretty team boasts an offensive line that averages 311 pounds. It likely will take several busses to bring the Spartans to Laplace. Unlike a week ago when the Comets faced a Country Day squad with limited numbers, the East Ascension roster is about as big as the Spartans’ offensive line.

The lineman who may garner the most attention is Falepule Alo, a 330-pound junior center.

He anchors an offensive line that has provided quarterback Jason Wakefield with a lot of protection and created running lanes for running backs Evan Copeland, Ethan Bagwell and Rionte Jones.

“There’s only one ball to go around, but it’s pick your poison,” Monica said.

The East Ascension receiving corps consists of the likes of Steven McBride, Markquell Stewart and Shaivonn Robinson.

“They run a spread. They run a no-huddle. It’s fast-paced stuff. Their zone is their big play and throwing the screens. They do throw the ball deep because they do have some good receivers,” said Monica.

The East Ascension defense, Monica said, is tall, rangy and can run.

Anchoring the unit is defensive tackle Deshon Hall, a Louisiana Tech commitment.

The offensive line isn’t the only area where the Spartans are big as nose guard Stanford Knockum checks in at 300 pounds.

Another big one on the line is junior Da’Jon Jones, a 6-foot-3 defensive end.

If St. Charles is to avoid falling below .500, the Comets will have to get back to being themselves, according to Monica.

“The big part of what we need to do is ourselves. We have got to get back to playing hard and physical. We didn’t do that last week. We have to get back to settling down and doing our thing and let the game unfold in our direction. We have to be in position and don’t give them anything and beat ourselves. Let’s make sure we control the tempo,” the St. Charles coach said.

George Becnel | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Becnel is an award-winning journalist and has been a sports writer and editor for more than 30 years.