Understated Frank Monica’s St. Charles Catholic makes statement with win over Destrehan
For many years, St. Charles Catholic head coach Frank Monica has understated, even poor-mouthed the abilities of his teams. This year is no exception.
This time around, the woe is me approach has validity.
Monica lost his best defensive player, linebacker Dellary Oubre, for the season in the team’s jamboree. In the season opening win over Chalmette, Monica lost his best player, quarterback Lloyd Nash, to a broken clavicle. He will be out until at least the second half of the regular season. This past week, another starter was lost to appendicitis. In all, the Comets have lost five starters to injury already.
It all came before the Comets were set to host 5A power Destrehan Friday night. Virtually no one expected St. Charles Catholic to win, or even be very competitive, given their losses and the step up in class and competition to face an elite 5A program. So much for common sense! Rumors of the demise of the Comets were greatly exaggerated.
The Comets put on an impressive show in a convincing 24-8 victory over the Wildcats at Thomas Dupuy Memorial Stadium.
It was the first regular season loss on the field for Destrehan and head coach Steve Robicheaux since the 2012 season, though the Wildcats later forfeited a 2013 victory to South Lafourche.
Speaking on The Three Tailgaters Show on WGSO, 990 AM Saturday morning, Monica gave all the credit to his players.
“We didn’t see it coming at all,” Monica said. “They had five turnovers as well. Our defense was so good. We lost a defensive end, a great inside linebacker and a defensive tackle to injuries. (John) Emery is a special back who will be a Sunday player someday. Coach Wayne Stein did a great job to get our defense prepared. We did not back down.”
The Comets held Emery to a modest 11 carries for 67 yards while the St. Charles offense rushed for 228 yards
Monica turned to Sutton Bourgeois, who started the year as his third-string quarterback, to run the offense. Bourgeois handled the job very well, eliminating any mistakes and giving the ball to Narquez Jones, who rushed 28 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
“We had 70 offensive snaps and only 40 defensive snaps and that was huge,” Monica said. “We won time of possession and had great field position which we took advantage of. We pared things down offensively, making the things solid that we could do and help us to block their front and to give our quarterback a minimum amount of throws. We lined up in the Wildcat formation frequently and eliminated mistakes with no turnovers. Our offensive line did a great job. Our quarterback played like a point guard, which is what we wanted.”
Bourgeois completed 5-of-9 passes for 34 yards. The Comets limited the potent Destrehan offense to just 160 yards.
St. Charles Catholic turned to trickery to take the early lead, one it would not relinquish. After coming up with a turnover, the Comets’ drive stalled and they lined up to try a field goal but faked it and holder Justin Dumas found Randann Campbell all alone in the right flat and he raced into the end zone to put the Comets on top 7-0 with 7:14 to play in the quarter and they did not look back.
“The next guy up mentality exists here,” Monica said. “What can you do? When you lose players, you just move on, forge ahead. That is our outlook. We knew we would do some out-of-the-box things in an attempt to beat a good team and the fake field goal was certainly one of those things.”
Following another Destrehan turnover, Jones scored on a two-yard run and the Comets led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Special teams figured in another St. Charles Catholic score as a mishit on a punt gave the Comets the ball at the Wildcats’ 18-yard line. Two plays later, Jones scored on an eight-yard run to make it 21-0 by halftime. Gavin St. Pierre and Nicholas Lorio each recovered a pair of fumbles for the Comets. Destrehan muffed three punts in the game.
Cameron Fabre completed the St. Charles Catholic scoring on a 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Destrehan (1-1) averted the shutout when quarterback J.R. Blood connected with Quinton Torbor on a five-yard touchdown pass and Blood hit Carl Lewis on a two-point conversion with 4:59 remaining but it was too little, too late.
St. Charles Catholic (2-0), which has allowed just eight points in its two victories, travels to Wilkinson County in Woodville, MS next Friday night at 7 p.m.
“We will be in full pads, working hard,” Monica said. “We need to continue to be physical, play hard and maximize our ability. We must continue to outwork others. Wilkinson County is very athletic. We don’t know a lot about of them. They are 1-2 against very good competition. We cannot have a letdown. As long as our defense continues to play well, we will have a chance to compete.”
That was spoken like the true master of the understatement.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…