It was a second-half goal line stand that proved to be a key factor in St. Charles Catholic’s 14-12 victory over De La Salle on Friday night at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium in New Orleans that allowed the Comets to assure themselves no worse than at least a share of the District 10-3A title.
With a 14-6 lead late in the third quarter, the Comets (6-3 overall, 4-0 in district) had forced the Cavaliers to a fourth down and apparent punt attempt.
Instead, the Cavaliers (5-3 overall, 3-1 in district) ran a fake-punt pass that resulted in a 52-yard gain that put them inside the Comet red zone. Moments later, they would be threatening at the 2-yard line.
The St. Charles defense would prevented the Cavaliers from capitalizing on the opportunity and forced De La Salle to come up empty on the drive. It preserved a 14-6 Comets lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The scoring started with the Comets finding the scoreboard first, as quarterback Justin Dumas scored on a 10-yard run that put his team up 7-0 at the 6:44 mark in the first quarter.
Dumas completed 11 of 17 passing attempts for 61 yards, but was most dominant as the game’s leading rusher as he totaled 97 yards.
The Cavaliers responded on the following drive with a 15-yard pass from Kendall Collins to Ivan Paz, but a missed extra-point attempt prevented De La Salle from tying the game at the 2:54 mark of the opening quarter.
This score would remain to halftime, with St. Charles leading 7-6 at the break.
It was the Comets who once again struck first in the second half with Joe Chiarella’s 8-yard run that capped off a 12-play drive that went 69 yards, giving St. Charles a 14-6 lead at the 5:41 mark of the third quarter.
Thanks to the big goal-line stand, the Cavaliers’ lone score of the fourth quarter came with 8:35 left in the game and forced the Comets to come up with a big stop on the two-point conversion attempt.
Collins punched in his second score of the game, this time a six-yard run that cut the De La Salle deficit to 14-12.
Needing a conversion to tie the game, the rushing attempt was no good, allowing St. Charles to take the two-point victory.
St. Charles will look to remain undefeated in district play next week when the Comets travel to take on St. James.