The St. Charles Comets have blanked their first two opponents in getting off to a 2-0 start.
To make it 3-0, the Comets will have to take it to another level, according to coach Frank Monica.
“We have some rough waters with the next few ball games we have on our schedule,” the St. Charles coach said. “We wanted to play, and that’s what we’ve got. We are still playing. A lot of people aren’t. We take the competition as it comes.”
The rough waters begin with a road game scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at East Ascension.
Like St. Charles, the Spartans enter the game 2-0.
While both are undefeated, they got there in different ways.
St. Charles, behind its usually stout defense, has not allowed a point through eight quarters in wins of 17-0 over St. Paul’s and 20-0 over E.D. White.
Like SCC, East Ascension opened the season with a shutout win over Northwest 20-0 but had to score the final 30 points of the game to topple Warren Easton 30-27 in double overtime last week.
When the game opens with natural daylight or the stadium lights have to be turned on may not matter much as East Ascension’s massive offensive and defensive lines may very well block out any illumination – natural or otherwise.
Of the projected offensive starters, the lightest is 270-pound junior tackle Jayven Richardson, who stands 6-foot-6. All his line mates are at least 6-foot-1, with the heaviest being 305-pound senior Marcus Banks.
“They have to be one of the biggest teams in the state. We really are outmanned on both sides of the football,” said Monica.
The defensive line is huge as well. Ashton Milton tops the scales at 330 pounds.
“We can’t match their size,” said Monica. “The biggest thing is to compete and stay within the chains because we are not going to match them with the big plays. They have a lot of speed in the secondary. We don’t have good matchups anywhere. Their secondary against our receivers and our receivers against their secondary.”
Two quarterbacks operate the EA offense in 6-foot-2 Troy Dunn and 5-foot-9 Kullen Wheat.
“One (Dunn) is a big, athletic guy. The other is more of a manager. I think we will see both of them,” said Monica.
The St. Charles coach the Comets will see a pair of running backs as well in Kendall Washington and Walter Samuel.
“Both are electric,” said Monica. “We are concerned about if we can get them on the ground.”
The Spartans also have some explosive receivers in Navell Chopin, Jordan Goodlow and Bredyn Robinson, along with tight end Jacquel Mack.
“They don’t throw the ball as much, but they are capable of throwing it. They can beat you in different way. They can still throw the screens and throw the deep ball,” Monica said.
Joining Richardson and Banks along the offensive line are 295-pound Gavin Soniat, 290-pound Lajaden Jackson, and 295-pound Dez’mond Schuster.
“That’s where the bad matchups come,” Monica said of the line of scrimmage. “You have to stay down and underneath our pads and play on. You have no answer there. They have some men on both sides of the ball. We will not face a bigger team.”
Along with Milton, others on what can seem like an impenetrable defensive front seven include Jerrell Boykins, Martez Scott, Rionte Jones.
“We just hope we can get a handoff. Once we get the handoff, everything else is a plus,” quipped Monica.
The Spartans present a big challenge, but it’s not one the Comets have seen before.
“We know what we’re up against. We’ve played big people before. We’ve played them before. We just have to do the little things better, that’s all,” said Monica.
A tried and true St. Charles formula of a relentless opportunistic defense, a ball-control offense, and good special teams play to allow SCC to dominate time of possession and field position, would serve the Comet well on Friday.
“That’s what we’re hoping to do, but (the Spartans) have something to do with that, too,” Monica said.