LCA football's four-year title streak ends in final minutes to St. Charles thanks to turnovers

Koki Riley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

NEW ORLEANS - Lafayette Christian's four-year football state title streak came to an end on Saturday in a 32-27 loss to St. Charles in the Division III championship at Tulane.

The Knights held a one-point lead with 2:26 left. But a botched snap on the punt attempt from LCA was recovered by St. Charles in the end zone.

The Comets led by five after a failed two-point attempt. But on the ensuing possession, LCA quarterback Ju'Juan Johnson threw his second interception of the game.

The turnover handed the ball back to St. Charles, which failed to grab a first down but handed the ball back to the Knights with no timeouts and only about a minute left to play.

LCA couldn't even produce a first down as the Comets defense iced the game.

LCA head coach Trev Faulk embraces Dedrick Celestine (20) after the Division III State Championship game between Lafayette Christian Academy and St. Charles Catholic at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

"(This loss) definitely makes you appreciate it more, the success we've been able to have," LCA coach Trev Faulk said.

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Miscues defined the night for LCA. Along with the botched snap, the Knights also had two punts blocked, two fumbles and two interceptions. They allowed 17 points off of turnovers and sunk into a 14-0 hole in the first quarter after the Knights threw an interception and had a fumble in consecutive possessions.

LCA fought back, tying the game in the second quarter. But a blocked punt that was forced out of bounds by the Knights handed the Comets two more points to give them the 16-14 lead at halftime.

"Special teams is how we built this program," St. Charles coach Wayne Stein said. "Special teams gives us another championship."

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The Knights didn't take their first lead until the fourth quarter.

Saturday was the Comets' second state championship after winning in 2011.

"They've had no panic all year," Stein said about his players. "That's why I felt confident at the end."