CROWLEY — It wasn’t a flashy game plan; it wasn’t a balanced game plan, but it was an effective game plan.
Notre Dame passed the ball just eight times Friday against E.D. White for 90 yards. The Pioneers ran the ball 39 times for 364 yards, including more than 100 yards a piece from Damon Comeaux and Lance Bertrand.
Comeaux was nursing a calf injury all week, but that didn’t stop him from scoring five touchdowns in the Pios’ 41-7 drumming of E.D. White Friday.
“Damon didn’t practice Wednesday and felt a little twinge in the calf muscle,” said Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook. “Yesterday he was limping, and I thought, ‘Ain’t no way he’s going to play.’
“Today in Mass, my eyes were on him. He looked pretty good, and he said he felt pretty good. We honestly weren’t expecting him to play. We let Lance start, and I told Damon we would put him in on the next series and test it. Wow!”
On that series, Comeaux closed the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. He finished the game with 146 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground. He also caught one pass, a 22-yard touchdown from quarterback Brad Stoma in the second quarter.
Cook said he was wondering if his offense would be a little rusty coming off of last week’s bye, but he was pleased with their execution.
“Our execution offensively was there, and I was pleased with the effort and the kids’ will to compete the way that they did,” Cook said. “They surprised me that they were that sharp and that they dominated the way they did.”
Cook said one of the biggest points of interest in the game for him was to see how his defense would play against a touted E.D. White offense. The Pios held the Cardinals to 109 yards of total offense, with the bulk of that coming against the Notre Dame backups in the third and fourth quarters.
Cook said this defensive front may be the most talented he has had in the program’s history.
“All the coaches talked about that this has been the best line they’ve seen collectively across the front,” Cook said. “We haven’t had four at this caliber at the same time. We knew this would be a group that we would lean on, and they’ve lived up to every bit of it.
“No one has really run it on us when we’ve had our full group. I was anxious to see if (E.D. White) would try to attack us, and our defense never let them breathe at all.”
The Pios draw University Lab next week after its 61-21 dismantling of St. Louis. Cook said he is going to need an even better performance from his team if they are to have a chance against the No. 1-seeded Cubs.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to rise the occasion again next week,” Cook said.
“We’re going to need all hands on deck for that one.”