Thanks to a stout defensive effort, St. Charles Catholic won its rematch against De Le Salle on Friday night, winning 24-0 in the quarterfinal round of the Division II playoffs.
Junior Justin Loupe carried the load for the Comets (10-2), finishing with 73 yards on 16 carries.
“It was a great effort by our team and I think we did a good job,” Loups said. “This is a great win for us and I’m really excited about it. We came to play and it showed.”
Senior running back Erron Lewis cemented the win with a 45-yard dash to the end zone with 4:11 left.
Lewis finished with 74 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries.
Friday’s game marked the second matchup between these teams in less than a month. On Oct. 18, the teams went back and forth before St. Charles claimed a 28-21 victory.
De La Salle came into Friday’s rematch on a three-game winning streak, which included the school’s first playoff win in over 35 years.
Before the game, De La Salle coach Ryan Manale said he just wanted his team to relax and not pay attention to the stage.
St. Charles coach Frank Monica said his Comets need to just play this game like any other.
“We knew we had to stop their running game first, and it would open up a lot to us,” Monica said. “We tried to make them become one-dimensional. It was a great game plan and it worked well. It kept their offense off the field — especially after we lost our starting quarterback early in the first half. I told the defense that if they shut the other team out, I would treat them to steak. It was the first question the players asked after the game.”
The Cavaliers had their chances early in the first half, but turnovers ended two promising drives. Senior running back Cole Lewis botched a handoff on the Comets’ 21, ending a long drive. Lewis finished with 46 yards 14 carries. Jabial White added a spark on special teams returning two kickoffs for 88 yards.
White added 46 yards rushing on just 5 carries.
“I’m very proud of my kids and the way they played all season, but this just wasn’t our night,” Manale said. “I feared for us to not play our best on the big stage and we did just that. We had our opportunites, but couldn’t capitalize when it counted.”
The Cavaliers had prided themselves on a dominant run game all season, but were remotely quiet with 91 total yards. Victor Gaines threw for 56 yards before giving way to backup Julien Gums. Gums added 26 passing yards and 21 rushing yards.
UNIVERSITY 61, ST. LOUIS 21: U-High senior defensive back Jalon Baker scored two defensive touchdowns, running back Nick Brossette added three of his own, and Cubs quarterback Manny Miles tossed two more in a 61-21 trouncing of St. Louis.
Baker started both halves with 50-plus yard touchdowns, the first giving U-High breathing room after an early Cubs three-and-out energized the St. Louis crowd.
SOUTHERN LAB 44, ASCENSION EPISCOPAL 19: In Youngsville, Ascension Episcopal put up a fight against a bigger and faster team, but Southern Lab recovered from the early jabs to run away with a convincing win on the road.
It didn’t help the Gators’ cause when star running back Ja’Ceiry Linzer went down with a knee injury on the last play of the first quarter. Linzer, who rushed for 1,582 yards in the regular season, spent most of the game on the trainer’s table.
But even without their best player, AES fought hard (8-4), coming within four points of Southern Lab (7-5) in the third quarter.