It was a familiar sight in the Division II quarterfinal matchup as No. 2 seed St. Charles relied on its defense, just as it has done all season to take down No. 7 seed Parkview Baptist 14-7 Friday night in Laplace.
The Comet defense limited Parkview to 140 yards of total offense to advance to the semifinals. St. Charles will host No. 3 seed St. Thomas More, who defeated E.D. White 63-7.
“We consider ourselves to be a physical football team and we feel like they are a pretty physical football team as well. That’s the kind of game it was tonight. A lot of hard hitting on both sides of the ball,” said Parkview Baptist coach Jay Mayet.
The first quarter showed signs of a defensive matchup when the Eagles came away with a big stop early.
With starting field position at their own 46-yard line, and the work of running backs Phillip Tran and Joe Chiarella, the Comets were threatening in the red zone.
But when the Eagles forced a 35-yard field goal attempt, the Comets missed on the opportunity as the ball sailed wide left.
It wasn’t until the second quarter that points were scored and both teams were able to strike before the break.
The first score came from the Eagles.
A punt from deep in St. Charles territory gave Parkview the ball at the Comets’ 44-yard line. Seven plays later, Ian Pourciau punched in a 2-yard run for a 7-0 Parkview Baptist lead with 4:05 left in the first half.
It would turn out to be the only lead and bright spot for the Eagle offense all night.
“Our defense is pretty good against the run, and that really helped us out tonight,” said St. Charles Catholic coach Frank Monica.
The Comets wasted no time striking back, answering with a score of their own on the following drive.
The equalizing opportunity was set up when quarterback Justin Dumas connected with Chiarella on what would be the game’s longest play of the night – a 35-yard gain that put his team into the red zone.
Three plays later, the Eagles forced St. Charles into a fourth-and-inches from the 2-yard line. The Comets called on Chiarella and he delivered by carrying the ball just far enough to move the chains.
On the next play, Trey Lowry went right up the middle for a 1-yard score to tie the game at 7-7 with slightly more than a minute remaining in the half.
Meanwhile, Comets quarterback Justin Dumas put on a display of his dual-threat ability, completing 8 of 14 passing attempts for 141 yards, while adding 42 rushing yards.
“He was consistent enough tonight and came up with some nice throws that moved the chains. That was the most important thing,” Monica said of Dumas.
The Comets only found the end zone once in the second half, but thanks to the dominance on the defensive side, it was enough to claim the victory.
“We knew in the second half we needed to be a little bit more resilient,” said Monica.
The score came late in the third quarter and was once again set up by Dumas through the air. This time, he connected with tight end Jacob Ganote for a 33-yard gain.
With another opportunity in the Eagle red zone, the Comets gave the ball to Chiarella, who followed his blockers into the end zone for the 9-yard run and a 14-7 St. Charles lead at the 1:29 mark of the third quarter.
It was all St. Charles in the final quarter of play as the defense continued to prevent any hope for the Eagle offense.
The Comet offense put together a four-minute drive at the end of the contest that served to be final blow for the Eagles’ season.