By Jason Duhe
St. Charles Catholic’s defense held Ville Platte to 194 yards as the Comets blanked the Bulldogs 49-0 Friday in Laplace.
The Comets’ offense, meanwhile, was efficient throughout the game.
Quarterback Austin Weber, who had been suffering through an early-season injury, played a complete game for the Comets, despite sitting last week. Weber was 5 of 6 passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for another 42 yards on six rushes with two touchdowns.
“(Weber) is getting better at being a true quarterback and not just being a guy handing off the football,” Comets coach Frank Monica said. “He’s reading the defenses correctly. He’s getting us in the right position to make plays in the checks. It’s good to have him back. He’s a good field general and he’s competitive. He’s just a winner.”
Erron Lewis ran for 81yards on 17 carries, making up a majority of St. Charles’ 129 rushing yards. Monica said he was more pleased with the quality over quantity in a game where St. Charles only needed 250 yards to put up 49 points.
“I think they were efficient,” the St. Charles coach said. “(Ville Platte) stopped the run, but they gave us a few throws. I think we took advantage of that.”
Both the Comets’ defense and special teams played well, giving St. Charles a short field to work with the entire night. The defense forced three turnovers while the special teams scored twice.
“You have to play good defense first to play on a short field,” Monica said. “Then your special teams have to step up when the time comes and we did that.”
The Comets started the game with a three-and-out on defense, forcing Ville Platte to punt the football.
Jordan Favorite took advantage of the wall of blockers set on the sideline and scooted in for a 55-yard punt return and a 7-0 Comets lead at the 9:57 mark of the first quarter.
The Bulldogs decided to try and attack the Comets through the air on their next possession, but defensive back Andrew Poulos made a diving interception. With a 35-yard field, the Comets made quick work and scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Weber to wide receiver Dane Authement.
Monica said it was very important for St. Charles to jump on top of Ville Platte.
“They were huge,” Monica said in regards to their first two defensive series. “It gave us great field position and the offense capitalized and punched those in.”
Later in the quarter, Weber completed a 57-yard pass to Authement down to the 1-yard line. Mario Young ran it in from a yard out to put the Comets up 21-0.
On the next possession, defensive linemen Christian Bailey forced a fumble for the Comets and defensive back Justin Dubose scooped it up for St. Charles. The turnover was on the Bulldogs’ 35-yard line, which set up a 22-yard touchdown pass from Weber to Brady Becker. The Comets headed into the half with a 28-0 lead and they never turned back.
The Comets added a 1-yard touchdown run by Weber on the first drive of the second half, along with a 19-yard touchdown run with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter. The Comets scored another special teams touchdown when Justin Loupe forced a fumble by a Bulldogs kick returner, leading to a Mario Young touchdown.
“It means an awful lot,” Monica said of the performance by the St. Charles defense. “(Ville Platte is an) explosive team. We talked all week long about keeping them in front and putting a little pressure on the quarterback and make sure we tackle their (running) back. They rallied to the ball, they played on their feet. I think the number one thing is we played our basic defense.”
Monica also said this is an all-around, complete performance by the Comets, and this is the kind of game they needed to play moving forward.
“We needed that,” the St. Charles coach said. “It was a solid all-around win. It was special teams, offense, and defense.”