On a night full of emotion, St. Charles put the finishing touches on a perfect 10-0 regular season by registering a fourth-straight shutout, handily disposing of visiting E.D. White 58-0.
Led by four touchdown passes from Donnie Savoie and a defense that created six turnovers, the Comets left little doubt concerning the first 10-0 regular season in the history of St. Charles Catholic.
“It started off last year in the spring,” said Comets defensive tackle Taylor Cochran, who registered one of St. Charles’ three fumble recoveries. “I busted my behind doing (polymeric) boxes right here. I mean we made history tonight and it’s a great feeling.”
Another great feeling was watching the night unfold for St. Charles trainer Nick Forsythe. Stricken with multiple sclerosis since the age of seven, Forsythe dressed out and led the Comets onto the field carrying the traditional St. Charles hammer before the game. With the Comets holding a commanding 58-0 lead with 7:55 left in the fourth quarter, Forsythe was sent into the game for one play at wide receiver.
“It was pretty good,” Forsythe said of his playing experience. “I was really nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I was trying to think what I did to Coach Ty (Monica) to make him mad that he wanted to put me out there right now.”
“It was great to see how the crowd reacted to him,” said Savoie. “To see how a guy like that gets his chance to go on the field and feel what we feel every Friday, something we might take for granted sometimes, it was a beautiful thing to see.”
Something that may also be taken for granted lately is the Comets’ defense posting shutouts. The Comets held the Cardinals to 97 total yards while posting their sixth shutout of the season.
“To be real, we deserve it,” said Cochran. “We work hard. Our coaches are on us non-stop. On defense, we’re all brothers; we love each other, we got each other’s back and we just work to get better.”
If there was a negative on this feel-good night it came in the form of an injury to the leading scorer in the River Parishes, Lazedrick Thompson. The senior running back scored the game’s first touchdown, and had 79 rushing yards to his credit when he injured his left knee late in the second quarter.
After lying on the ground clutching his knee for a moment, Thompson hobbled off the field on his own power, but went to the bench where he was attended to by the team’s medical staff and did not return. The extent of the injury was not immediately known, but tests were scheduled for Saturday morning at Tulane where Thompson has committed to play football.
Losing Thompson would be a devastating blow for St. Charles, which already lost its other top running back when Marcus Hall broke his left wrist three weeks ago at Port Allen.
For Savoie, it was a season-high with the four touchdown passes, two of those to Chad McNeal to open the scoring in the second quarter. The Comets senior quarterback finished 16 of 21 for 219 yards.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Savoie. “A great accomplishment, but honestly at the beginning of the season we expected to be here so we still feel good about it but we know we have more work to do.
“We feel confident but at the same time we have a coupe of injuries and not sure about a couple of things but I’m sure the coaches will be able to fix that up and we’ll be ready to go.”
Now it’s the waiting game for the Comets, who have held down the number one spot in the Class 3A poll all season, but have been as low as number three in the ever-so important power rankings. Late-night projections had the Comets as the number two seed in Class 3A with a potential matchup with Patterson lying ahead in the second round.
But there were also rumblings late Friday night that Belle Chasse may have used an ineligible player and may be forced to forfeit games. One of those would be to Vandebilt; a team the Comets defeated 48-7 in Week Two. The additional power points could propel the Comets to the top seed in Class 3A.
“Not one time during the whole season did I tell the kids that they were number one,” said St. Charles coach Frank Monica. “Everybody else did, and the media did, but not one time did we use that the entire season. “
“We can’t get a big head,” said Cochran. “We know we’re going to have some tough teams to face. We just can’t get a big head and we’ve just got to go in there hungry and want to win.”
Senior defensive back Jeffery Hall switched to the defense before the season began, and had another interception against E.D. White.
“It’s amazing,” said Hall. “(Being 10-0) is what we’ve been aiming for since the beginning of the season and it’s still not over yet, though. We’re flying high right now but we can’t fly too high, we still got games to play. We’re hungry, we’re real hungry. We want the state championship.”
Senior running back Brandon Zimmer scored a pair of touchdowns and finished with 24 rushing yards on three carries.
“Feels great” said Zimmer. “We were talking about (going 10-0) at the beginning of the season, we achieved it and we’re ready for the playoffs.”
“From the beginning of the season all the way to camp in Covington we were like ‘we got a mission for the season,’” said St. Charles defensive end Lajaylin Smith. “First of all, we got to go 10-0 and we achieved our first goal but now its time to move on to (the) state (playoffs).
Senior linebacker Nick Montegut registered his second pick-six of the season to open the scoring in the third quarter
Chris Millet also scored for SCC, finding the end zone from 37 yards out
“It’s a tribute to your team anytime that you win 10 ball games especially with this tough district,” said Monica. “Our scores don’t indicate how tough it was, but it really was. It was not easy. It’s a credit to our kids; the new word is ‘focus.’ They did that and they kept their concentration and we had some lows in our season but we didn’t have an entire four-quarter low. It’s a credit to our kids and especially our senior class.”