“October has to be the month of the Comets.”
So declared St. Charles Catholic coach Frank Monica.
After getting off to a 2-3 start, the Comets began the month of October with a 42-0 win over Lusher last week behind a 352-yard rushing effort to open District 10-3A play.
“We went into the game about trying to be more downhill oriented. We felt like we accelerated our offense too fast. We weren’t ready for that in previous weeks because of our competition. We felt as thought we could move the ball if we accelerated the offense further but we didn’t handle that very well,” Monica said.
The Comets (3-3 overall, 1-0 in district) were able to take advantage of a young and outmanned Lusher team, Monica said, to get off to a good start in district play.
“We had a chance to play a bunch of kids,” the St. Charles coach said. “The first unit didn’t play at all in the second half. We played running time in the second half.
“It’s always good to have a game like that every now and then to play some of the other guys, and more importantly, to put the game away early.”
That scenario is not likely to repeat itself against at Donaldsonville on Friday night against an athletic Tigers team (3-3 overall, 0-1 in district) that is coming off a 22-0 district-opening loss to St. James.
“When you talk about Donaldsonville, you talk about speed. They have tremendous speed,” Monica said.
An example of the speed is track star Christian Bell, who plays receiver and defensive back for the Tigers.
“He’s also a punt return and kick return guy. He’s a jet. When you look at him on film, you say, ‘something is wrong with this film. It looks like it accelerates.’ He’s on another level and you have to get people around him. You have to be a lot deeper on your pursuit angle,” Monica said of Bell.
Running the Donaldsonville offense is freshman quarterback Treveyon Brown.
“He’s very athletic,” Monica said of Brown. “He can pull it down and he’s a really good scrambler. Once he gets to the perimeter, he’s a running back. We have to make sure we contain him.
“What really concerns us when you play a team like that is scramble throws or off-schedule throws. He scramble, and all of a sudden, somebody gets loose and hits us with big plays.”
At running back for Donaldsonville is Joshua Collier.
“He’s a quick guy. He’s a jitterbug-type guy. He’s not a slash-type guy. He’s hard to tackle. We have a tendency to be a little top-heavy with our tackling. We need to make sure we get our eyes up and concentrate on getting him down and let the posse come,” Monica said.
Raeland Johnson is coming off a game in which he had numerous carries, especially early.
“He’s more of downhill guy. He likes to go north and south a little bit more,” Monica pointed out.
The Tigers are known as a quick-strike team.
“They are capable of doing that because they have the speed and the guy (Brown) has the arm to reach that. I think we have to put some pressure up front and even if we don’t get to him, we need to crowd him a little bit and maybe make him throw some of them to our guys.
“In order to do that, you have to make him one-dimensional. If they are able to balance you up, then all of a sudden, you are in trouble. It makes you play softer.”
The Tigers feature an aggressive defense based out of a 4-2-5 alignment.
“They like to blitz. They like to play man (coverage). They like to put pressure on you. They come from all angles, from the cornerback blitz to strong safety blitzes. They will run twist stunts up front,” Monica said.
Along with Bell, Collier also plays in the secondary, along with 6-foot-2 corner Devant’e Leblanc.
Other top defenders include linebacker Trevon Dunn, along with linemen Terrell Brown, Rashad Landry and Devin Turner.
Despite a 2-3 start, a win over Donaldsonville would move the Comets to 2-0 in district play for a St. Charles team that plays three of its final regular-season games on the road.
“One of the things that is sort of our battle cry right now is, ‘hey, all your goals are intact.’ The initial goal is let’s have a winning season. Two, let’s shoot for the district championship,” Monica said. “It’s still out there. This is a huge step for us – to learn to play on the road.
“This is a high-stakes game for us. There is a lot on the line. It is a litmus test for us to see who we really are. Are we the same team that stumbled and bumbled at the beginning of the year or have we righted the ship and get ready for that month of November? I think it’s important for us to try and get some momentum established as a team and a confidence builder. This week is a big week.”