LaPLACE — A slow start turned into a “special” night for St. Charles Catholic on Friday night at Thomas Dupuy Field.

St. Charles, the sixth-ranked team in Class 2A, fell behind early before following the lead of its special teams to a rout of Class 5A’s Central High 56-20.

The Comets (4-0) had 173 yards in kick returns, and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. They also held Central to an average starting position of the CHS 21 following each of their eight touchdowns.

“Thank God, our special teams were pretty special tonight,” said St. Charles coach Frank Monica, who picked up his 232nd career win. “It helped us out an awful lot.”

Central (2-2) led 14-7 early in the second quarter before Eric Lewis’ 79-yard kickoff return sparked the Comets’ avalanche of touchdowns. SCC scored three times before halftime on its way to 49 consecutive points.

“We’re a team that cannot have a lot of critical mistakes. Tonight we played a game on the road where we had a barrel load of them,” Central coach Sid Edwards said.

“I think they beat us in every phase of the game, but certainly (St. Charles) had a huge upper hand with special teams.”

St. Charles benefited from a short field most of the game, and its offense was outgained by Central 344 yards to 311. The Comets defense held Central without a second half first down until less than a minute remained in the third.

By that time St. Charles led 56-14.

Justin Loupe led St. Charles with 103 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He also turned a short reception into a 45-yard touchdown.

Central quarterback Gabe Brown completed 13 of 27 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. His third-quarter interception was returned 33 yards for a touchdown.

“Coming out of the locker room I felt like we didn’t have the intensity you need to play a 5A school,” Monica said. “We have to play over our head to compete with these guys. That was evidenced in the first half when they got a couple of quick scores.”

Central took the opening kickoff and scored in three plays. Brown connected with Trenton Guay on a short in pattern, and Guay turned up field to complete a 60-yard score.

KENTWOOD 35, WEST ST. JOHN 22: In Kentwood, the Kangaroos racked up 273 rushing yards and used a 21-point second quarter to pull ahead of the Rams.

Kentwood won despite throwing two interceptions and committing 14 penalties for 105 yards. Shyheim Carter returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown and also threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Lott. Carter also scored on a 3-yard touchdown run.

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS 50, HANNAN 5: In Hammond, the Falcons got touchdown runs of 20 and 39 yards from Cameron Dantzler in the first half en route to a commanding lead.

St. Thomas Aquinas had 287 rushing yards in all. Brad Lewis also scored on runs of 1 and 7 yards.

ASSUMPTION 24, LAKESHORE 23: In Napoleonville, the Titans scored the final points of Friday’s game but missed what would’ve been the tying extra point, allowing the Mustangs to hold on.

The game featured 512 yards from offense between the teams and only nine penalties. Daron Williams scored on runs of 1 and 4 yards for the Mustangs.

Albdnassar Amree’s extra point proved to be the difference.