When St. Charles Catholic hosts Catholic High of New Iberia on Friday night in Laplace, it will mark the fourth year in a row for the Comets to reach the semifinal playoffs.
St. Charles (10-1) has become a late playoff fixture over the years and it’s no coincidence that the Comets keep running into teams like CHNI and Notre Dame of Crowley, among others.
“It goes deeper than just a team. It becomes a program issue. They work hard and put people in position to win. Catholic High of New Iberia are well, well coached. They beat a real good football team last week so they certainly have our attention,” St. Charles coach Frank Monica said.
That “real good football team” Catholic of New Iberia in last week’s Division III quarterfinals was beat was none other that Notre Dame. CHNI, the No. 7 seed, defeated the second-seeded Pioneers 24-21. SCC, the No. 3 seed, advanced with a 40-15 win over Episcopal, the No. 6 seed.
The St. Charles-Catholic of New Iberia game will be live streamed on VSN Louisiana. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
CHNI’s offense is led by Trey Amos.
“They have an electric quarterback. He’s phenomenal,” Monica said of Amos. “He’s a ULL commit. He probably will be a college running back. That’s what he does best (run the ball), but he throws well enough to scare you because when you run the Wing-T there is a lot of people pressing the line of scrimmage and all-of-a-sudden, somebody sneaks behind you.”
Amos is coming off a quarterfinal game in which he rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
As a team, the Panthers (9-2) rushed for 251 yards against Notre Dame’s defense.
One of the best ways to defend Amos, Monica said, is to keep him off the field on offense.
“We have to do better on third-down efficiency,” said Monica.
That could prove difficult as Notre Dame was only 1 of 9 on third downs against the Panthers’ defense.
The CHNI fullback is Tray Henry.
“Tray Henry is a big, strong guy. He’s very powerful,” Monica said. “The first you have to stop in the Wing-T is the fullback trap and everything comes off of that. They are more than a Wing-T team. They run some mid-line triple option stuff.”
Like most Wing-T oriented teams, the Panthers pick their spots when throwing the football.
“When they throw, they like to use the wing back K.K. Reno and William Regard,” Monica said.
Anchoring the line are tackles John Lavire and Eian Nathan. Larive is a 305-pound senior.
Defensively, the Panthers line up in a 3-3 Stack.
“They are very, very good on defense. They will put a lot of people at the line of scrimmage. They play man and they play zone. They have a very hard scheme to block. It’s important for us to be very, very savvy in terms of our blocking assignments,” Monica explained.
Up front for the Panthers is nose guard Kolby Pressley.
“They say he’s 240. He might be 240 on one leg,” Monica quipped.
Other top defenders include strong safety Nick Borne and inside linebacker Carson Stiles.
Amos plays cornerback on defense and Reno is the free safety.
If SCC is to advance to the state championship game, the Comets will have gotten there by limiting the number of times Amos was able to get his hands on the ball, according to Monica.
“It will come down to our offensive line and keeping them off the field. We have limit the snaps Amos gets his hands on. If he takes 60 snaps, they will win going away because he is electric. We are not going to tackle him for 60 snaps,” the St. Charles coach said.
Click below for the link to the game that is set to begin on Friday, November 29 at 7 p.m.