The Division III quarterfinal game at Baton Rouge’s Leadership Academy Doug Williams Stadium turned out to be a battle of extra points.
St. Charles Catholic was 1 for 2 and Madison Prep was 0 for 2. The result: the Comets took a hard-fought 13-12 win to move on to the semifinals.
“Hindsight is 20-20,” Madison Prep coach Michael Roach said. “A few years ago, I went for two against White Castle and didn’t make it, so I figured we’d just kick it and get one. We haven’t had two blocked all year.”
In this game, St. Charles’ Jaelon Gordon blocked two himself. Malcolm Roach blocked one for the Chargers, but Andrew Rodrigue was perfect on the other for the difference in the game.
The fact the game was close enough for one point to make a difference was a credit to the St. Charles defense, which came up with big plays until its offense started moving.
“Our defense played tremendously, several stops in the red zone,” St. Charles coach Frank Monica said. “When we first went to St. Charles Catholic, I we talked about building from the defense on, and we did that tonight.
“Our offense was sporadic and kind of out of sync until right before the half. Our two-minute offense kind of gave us a boost. Maybe we should run that all the time.”
Madison Prep spent the first half moving the ball, making big defensive plays, getting good special teams play, and squandering opportunities.
St. Charles kept bending and bending, but managed hold the Chargers to six first-half points. The Comets offense was dormant until the last 1:30 of the half when sophomore quarterback Lloyd Nash, who started 1-for-8 passing and suffered two sacks, found wide receiver Dane Authement for completions of 24, 16, and 39 yards, the last one going for a touchdown with 28 seconds left in the half.
Rodrigue’s PAT kick gave St. Charles the lead since Gordon had blocked Madison Prep’s extra-point try after Tyrese Walker’s 2-yard touchdown run.
“We knew we had to punch it in before half,” Authement said. “We knew somebody had to step up and make a play.”
Authement finished with 110 yards on five catches. Quincy Banks (63 yards rushing) and Tyrese Walker (53) yards were Madison Prep’s leading rushers.
Madison Prep started four drives in St. Charles territory, including the Comets’ 18 after Brian Savoie returned the opening kickoff 77 yards. St. Charles held on downs on that drive and one other, and forced a punt on another.
That punt turned out to be a beauty, as Braylen Bolden squibbed one out on the 5-yard line. The Chargers defense held, and they took over on the St. Charles 48. Kleinpeter threw to Thailand Butler to the nine, two penalties moved the ball to the two, and Walker punched it in from there.
The Comets kept their momentum going in the third quarter with the spark coming this time from Nash’s 43-yard run on a read option. Eric Lewis got a touchdown on a 2-yard run, and the score was 13-7 after Roach blocked the PAT try.
The Chargers got another touchdown at the end of an 83-yard drive on a 38-yard scoring pass from Edwin Kleinpeter to Savoie with 2:16 left in the game. Gordon got his second block of the night,
Authement safely caught the onside kick attempt, and Madison Prep couldn’t score after getting the ball back with :23 seconds left.
“My hat’s still off to my team and the support we’ve had from our school and the administration,” Roach said. “We lost to a real good team tonight, but I don’t know of anyone else that’s done what we’ve done or come as far as we have in three years.”