by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner

NEW ORLEANS – All Calvary Baptist needed was one more opportunity. It turned out to be a golden opportunity.

With the game on the line, St. Charles decided to go for it on a 4th-and-1 play in hopes of securing the school’s third straight state title. It turned out to be the biggest play of the game as Calvary stuffed the Comets just a yard shy of the game-clinching first down.

With just 44 seconds left in the game and no timeouts, Calvary used several key plays from quarterback Abram Wardell who guided the Cavs down the field in excellent fashion. On the fifth play of the drive, Wardell found Kolby Thomas and launched a 20-yard pass that landed right in the hands of the junior receiver for the go-ahead touchdown as the Shreveport-based school erupted in celebration.

The 34-28 lead held and the Cavaliers rolled to their fourth state title in school history and first since 2020. Calvary Baptist finished the year undefeated at 14-0 while St. Charles fell to 13-1 to finish the season and earned its sixth runner-up.

Calvary Baptist running back James Simon was named the Most Outstanding Player finishing with 191 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns. Wardell led with 249 passing yards and two touchdowns.

It was turnovers that proved to be the difference maker in the first half as St. Charles used a pair of Calvary blunders to score two of its three touchdowns. A turnover on downs allowed St. Charles to take an early 7-0 lead after nearly eight minutes of defensive dominance.

The Comets added another touchdown to go up by six just before the break as Brayden Bertucci intercepted Calvary’s Abram Wardell. The turnover allowed Daniel Joseph to haul in his second touchdown of the evening giving St. Charles a 21-13 lead after two periods.

James Simon scored each of Calvary’s touchdowns on runs of 1 and 3 yards to cap sustaining drives.

The second half saw St. Charle increase its lead to a 28-13 score following another touchdown from Willis. Afterwards, it became the Cavaliers show as they used three scoring opportunities on long sustaining drives that were highlighted by touchdown throws from Wardell as he found Aubrey Hermes and Thomas.

HOW IT HAPPENED

FIRST QUARTER

• 4:13 – ST. CHARLES | Daniel Joseph was off to the races untouched following a screen play that went 68 yards on the touchdown reception from Brady St. Pierre.

SECOND QUARTER

• 11:58 – CALVARY | The Cavs responded by putting together an 11-play, 90 yard drive capped by a James Simons 1-yard touchdown run. Extra point was missed bringing the score to a 7-6 margin.

• 9:55 – ST. CHARLES | Jeremiah Willis scored on a 45-yard scamper for the Comets’ second score of the night upping the lead to a 14-6 score.

• 3:05 – CALVARY | A turnover from St. Charles allowed the Cavs to take advantage as Simon picked up his second scoring effort of the night on a 3-yard run and reduce the lead to a 14-13 score.

• :16 – ST. CHARLES | Joseph hauled in another touchdown catch from St. Pierre, this time from 14-yards out as the Comets took advantage of a Calvary interception to increase its lead by six before the break.

THIRD QUARTER

• 6:16 – ST. CHARLES | The Comets needed just a two play drive to score and increase its lead to 15 as Jeremiah Willis plunges in on a 4-yard rush, his second TD on the day.

• 2:55 – CALVARY | Simon scored his third touchdown of the game to cut the lead to a 28-19 score following a 25-yard rush. The two-point attempt failed.

FOURTH QUARTER

• 2:47 – CALVARY | Aubrey Hermes hauled in a 20-yard pass from Abram Wardell to cut the St. Charles lead from a double-digit advantage down to just two points.

• :18 – CALVARY | Kolby Thomas caught the go-ahead and eventual game winner in the endzone on a 20-yard launch from Wardell. A two-point attempt caught by Thomas was converted.