Wayne Stein is pretty good at winning state championships as in only his second year as the head coach at St. Charles Catholic High School, he has come away with the Division III (Select) State Championship trophy both times.
However, the St. Charles Comets (11-3) had to earn it coming from behind to defeat the Dunham Tigers (12-2) 32-28.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Tigers had a 28-17 lead entering the final 12 minutes of play, but the Comets did not panic and played their style of complimentary football to come back and win the football game scoring 15 unanswered points.
Comets senior quarterback Ayden Authement was very poised down the stretch leading two touchdown drives to give the Comets the late lead after trailing the entire game prior. The first drive, the Comets had a 5 play, 70-yard drive highlighted by a 60-yard pass from Authement to Daniel Joseph to set the offense up in scoring position. Three plays later, Authement finds Jackson Monica for the two-yard touchdown to cut it within five points. The Comets would then go for two and convert as Authement finds a wide-open Brandon Kragle to make it a three-point game at 28-25.
What came next was a gutsy move by Stein to call for the onside kick. It turned out to catch the Tigers by surprise as the Comets were able to recover the onside kick.
The Comets would proceed to have one of their methodical drives that they are most known for taking five minutes off the clock and capitalizing on the special teams gamble with an Authement three-yard touchdown run. It took seven minutes for the Comets to take the lead for the first time in the football game at 32-28.
With five minutes left to play in the football game, the Tigers had a chance to regain the lead they held for the majority of the contest. Senior quarterback Jackson House marched the Tigers 49 yards on 18 plays including two fourth down conversions, but the third time was the charm for the Comets’ defense forcing an incompletion on fourth down with four seconds to preserve the Division III (Select) State Championship 32-28.
Ayden Authement’s leadership notched him MVP honors for the Comets as he completed 13 of 18 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 57 yards and another score. Davon Stirgus and Samare Scott combined for 127 yards rushing and two touchdowns while Daniel Joseph led the team in receiving with six catches for 105 yards.
It was a valiant effort by Dunham senior quarterback Jackson House in a losing effort. He only had seven completions in the game, but those seven completions went for 202 yards and two of those passes went to touchdowns. He also ran the ball for 102 yards and a third touchdown on the ground. His scores helped the Tigers get a double digit lead entering the final quarter.
Colin Boldt started the scoring as he had a 52-yard touchdown run to strike first blood at 7-0. Jac Comeaux was the Tigers’ big play receiver with four catches for 159 yards and a 62-yard touchdown grab from House. House’s other touchdown pass went to two-way player TE/DE Jake Rizzo on a 15-yard touchdown grab.
For Neil Weiner, it was an exceptional season leading the Tigers to their first state championship appearance since 2004, but the Tigers did not make the plays at the end when needed.
As mentioned before, Wayne Stein has more than filled in the shoes of Hall of Fame Coach Frank Monica guiding the Comets to their second straight state championship title and their fourth straight state championship game appearance.
“I thought in the end, we don’t have many guys that go two ways. I thought that you started to see us, because they were physical and they pushed us around, but we gave them some body blows. I think you started seeing some of those body blows late in the fourth quarter. Our kids just kept on punching. I thought both of our backs. They kept running with an attitude and running getting extra yards, and then also Ayden. That’s the way we ended up winning this game. I thought in the end, we don’t have many guys that go two ways. I thought that you started to see us because they were physical and they pushed us around, but we gave them some body blows. I think you started seeing some of those body blows late in the fourth quarter. Our kids just kept on punching. I thought both of our backs, they kept running with an attitude and running getting extra yards, and then also Ayden. That’s the way we ended up winning this game”.St. Charles Catholic Head Coach Wayne Stein
Check out some of the photos taken by Jason Saucier! We will release the magazine with all the game photos throughout the weekend for the Prep Classic. If you wish the receive the magazine for free through email, fill out the contact sheet form at the bottom of the article.
Road To The Dome Preview Show:
Key Plays: (Videos and Tweets By Tyler Barros)
Stay tuned on Monday. We will release the magazine with all the game photos throughout the weekend for the Prep Classic. If you wish the receive the magazine for free through email, fill out the contact sheet form below!