St. Charles Catholic put on an impressive fireworks display before Friday night’s District 11-3A opener against perennial powerhouse John Curtis.

The problem was, the Comets didn’t have enough firepower during the game to topple the mighty Patriots, who escaped Thomas J. Dupuy Memorial Stadium with a 27-21 victory.

St. Charles, ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, saw No. 2 Curtis take a 20-0 lead in the first quarter before rallying for 14 points in the second quarter. With 3:04 remaining in the game, the Comets trailed 27-21 and had the ball. But St. Charles could not convert a third-and-12 at its 44-yard line and coach Frank Monica elected to punt. After that, all the Patriots (5-1, 1-0) had to do was grind it out for the final minutes. Three first downs was all it took.

Patriots quarterback Myles Washington did most of the grinding, rushing for 180 yards and two touchdowns on a mere 12 carries. He scored on a 32-yard run and a 49-yard quarterback sneak. Santos Moreria ran for 80 yards on three carries, including a 44-yard touchdown. Devon Benn ran for 90 yards on 10 carries, including a 30-yard touchdown. In typical fashion, the Patriots passed little. Washington completed two passes for 7 yards.

St. Charles quarterback Austin Weber, meanwhile, carried most of the offensive load himself. The senior survived hit after hit to rush for 95 yards and pass for 130 and three touchdowns. Weber threw two TD passes to Brady Becker and one to Dane Authement. The rest of the Comets’ offense gained 52 yards.

“I thought he (Weber) played as hard as he possibly could,” Comets coach Frank Monica said. “He just needed other people around him to support him. We didn’t break one tackle. Give them credit for that.

“We didn’t have any good matchups. We need to learn how to win in the fourth quarter. That’s the second time it’s happened to us. On fourth down at the end, we decided to punt because the defense was playing better. It was the right thing to do.”

The defense did indeed give Curtis some trouble, especially in the second half. St. Charles forced two Patriots punts in the fourth quarter, but could not capitalize.

Patriots coach J.T. Curtis said he was not surprised the Comets challenged his team.

“They’re a good football team,” Curtis said. “They’ve scored a lot of points against a lot of good people. What hurt us was not getting the ball in the end zone when we had the chance. But you’ve got to credit them for playing good defense. It was a really competitive game.”

“It was a really good game,” Washington said. “You know, St. Charles is our big district rival, so we knew they would come out with a lot of heart, a lot of passion, a lot of intensity. We knew a good game was coming.”