There was a time not long ago that if you didn’t get to a St. Charles game at St. James an hour ahead of time; you were almost assured you parking spot would be on the levee across the street from the school. As the saying goes, “The times, they are a changin’.”
Although parking still seemed tight, the visiting bleachers were fuller than the home side, and St. Charles rolled to a 55-0 District 7-3A rout on a cold and dreary night in St. James.
“We liked the way the game unfolded,” said St. Charles coach Frank Monica. “We held them to a three-and-out and then blocked a punt which we recovered for a touchdown. By the time we went ahead three touchdowns, we had broke their will.”
It was a difficult week for everyone associated with St. Charles after the untimely death of 29-year-old Development Director Marie Ory Dupont on Sunday morning. Dupont was buried on Friday.
“We went to the funeral as a team,” said Monica. “I’m very proud of our kids. This was a very tough week for us all. I’m just proud the way they kept their focus.”
Chad McNeal was the Comet who blocked and recovered the early punt for a touchdown and set the tone for the game.
Lazedrick Thompson added to his River Parish-leading scoring total by registering the next two touchdowns on runs of 34 and 3 yards as St. Charles shot out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead.
Thompson ended the game with 233 rushing yards on 16 carries. He didn’t play a down in the second half.
“(Thompson’s) hard to bring down,” said Monica. “It was windy and it did affect our passing game, but we prepared all week to establish our big guy and the run.”
Monica was also quick to point out some key runs by others like fullback Brandon Zimmer who ended the game with 40 yards on four carries, including an 18-yard touchdown to give the Comets a 35-0 lead..
Other Comets who aren’t accustomed to winding up in the end zone would find paydirt on this night. Freshman Austin Weber capped off a career-high eight-carry, 61-yard effort with a 7-yard touchdown run to open the flood gates to a 34-point second quarter.
Later it was one of the top defensive players in the River Parishes showing his versatility on the offensive side of the ball when LaJaylin Smith scored on a 3-yard run. Smith also had six tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack, pacing a St. Charles defense that posted its fifth shutout of the season, the third in a row.
The Comets’ other scores on the night came on defensive touchdowns. Luke Jackson had a 17-yard fumble recovery and Dante Scarpero had a 42-yard interception return to close the scoring at 55-0 late in the second quarter.
“We really weren’t sure what St. James was going to come out with,” said Monica. “They had 19 starters back from a team that won the district title last year. I was just proud of the way we came out of the locker room.”
Both Monica and St. James coach James Bell agreed to a running clock in the second half, which lasted less than 30 minutes.
With the loss St. James falls to 0-9.