Comets’ passing game puts Gators in hole

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Nelson Jointer carries against St. Charles Catholic Friday night. Jointer led the Gators with 50 yards on 10 carries.

ST. AMANT - St. Charles Catholic quarterback Marc Picciola completed 84 percent of his passes and threw four touchdowns, spoiling St. Amant’s homecoming as the Comets won 35-7 with Friday night at The Pit.

“They didn’t surprise us. They just out executed us in all three phrases of the game,” St. Amant head coach David Oliver said. “They showed exactly what they played going in. They just outplayed us on offense, defense and special teams. They deserved to win and they did.

“I think we were prepared. I just think we have to find a way to create momentum early in ball games. We have not had the lead at all this season. It is difficult for a young team to play from behind and we have consistently been playing from behind.”

Picciola threw for 164 yards on 11-of-13 passing with scores going to four different receivers.

“Any time an opposing quarterback can come in and complete that high percentage of passes for that many touchdowns, it is going to be a letdown,” Oliver said. “A lot of things go into that. We have to improve our pass rush and improve our first down and second down defense which will put them in harder to make third down situations where they were hurting us on the pass.”

Neither team was able to sustain drives on their opening possession.

Picciola hit Alex Marse for a 16-yard scoring strike to cap the Comets’ next 7-play, 66-yard possession. Courtland Taylor’s runs of 20 and 12 yards kickstarted the drive. James Krawczky’s kick put St. Charles (2-1) ahead with 2:45 left in the first quarter.

St. Amant (0-3) drove to the Comet 35 on the ensuing possession behind LeBlanc’s 18-yard pass to Anthony Bonadona and 8-yard completion to Chase Keller but threw incomplete on fourth down.

Picciola’s 10-yard completion to Zach Goodwin capped the Comets’ next 11-play, 65-yard drive that ate up 6:31. Picciola completed a 10-yard pass to Brandon Becker and a 18-yard throw to Marse on the drive before Stafford Jones gained 15 yards on the ground. Krawczky’s kick made it 14-0 with 2:59 left in the first half.

The Comets’ scored on their first two possessions of the second half as Picciola connected with Becker from 20 yards for the first touchdown. Picciola hit Marse for an 11-yard gain and Becker for a 21-yard gain on the 7-play, 54-yard drive. Krawczky’s kick made it 21-0 with 7:42 left in the third quarter.

Justin Vicknair intercepted LeBlanc at the Comet 45 on the ensuing possession and Picciola connected with Tyler Roussel for a 23-yard scoring strike seven plays later. Taylor’s 18-yard run kick started the drive and Krawczky’s kick made it 28-0 with 2:52 left in the third quarter.

St. Amant’s offense quickly answered when LeBlanc kept for a 31-yards to pay dirt three plays later after connecting with Bonadona for a 38-yard completion. Colby Robert’s kick cut it to 28-7 with 1:33 left in the third quarter.

Becker returned the ensuing kickoff 68 yards for a touchdown and Krawczky’s kick reflected the final tall with 1:21 left in the third quarter.

St. Amant drove to the Comet 5 on the ensuing possession courtesy of Nelson Jointer’s 23-yard run and Tre` Vaughn’s 20-yard gain but LeBlanc’s pass fell incomplete on fourth down.

“We have to start games faster and play for 48 minutes,” Oliver said. “We show flashes of playing solid football but there is a lot of inconsistency. If we can get momentum early we should have a chance to compete.”

St. Amant travels to Woodlawn (0-2) Friday night.