The battle against Catholic-Pointe Coupee may have not had the outcome St. John coach Eric Holden and his players wanted last Friday night, but he saw plenty of reasons to stay optimistic.
St. John gave the visiting Hornets a tough battle that stayed within reach until midway in the fourth quarter in a 41-20 loss at Andrew Canova Stadium.
"We have a lot of great pieces here, we're growing, we're learning and we have some ground to make up as far as polishing the things that need to be policed and make sure we' technically should," St. John head coach Eric Holden said. " The team we played tonight were is a potential quarterfinal or semifinal team, so this was a great way for us to test ourselves against a great team.
"You never walk away from a loss just losing if you have wisdom," he said. "You gain knowledge, fix things, learn about yourself and look at it as an opportunity to move forward and build yourself into a team with a solid playoff run."
The Eagles will have a chance to put the loss behind them when they host Covenant Christian tonight (Thursday) at Andrew Canova Stadium.
Against Catholic-PC, Junior fullback Colin Grezaffi scored three touchdowns lead Catholic High School-Pointe Coupee.
CHSPC amassed 335 yards rushing to pull past St. John, which slipped to 2-1.
"We don't have a lot of superstars that will wow you, but we have enough hard-nosed kids who will play you hard and hit you in the mouth for 48 minutes," Catholic-PC coach David Simoneaux said.
It took an aggressive attack from the Hornets to hold back a St. John, which its best start in several years.
CHSPC got to work early on the Eagles when quarterback Aiden Vosburg's 1-yard touchdown dive capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive.
The Eagles retaliated in the first quarter when they forced a CHSPC fumble two yards from the end zone in the first quarter. St. John seized the opportunity on a 10-play drive which ended Adam Blanchard's 18-yard touchdown pass to Justin Rivet.
The Hornets went to halftime ahead 20-6 over St. John after Grezaffi's two-yard plunge and Nick Carriere's seven-yard scamper in the second quarter. A face mask penalty deep in the red zone paved the way for the Grezaffi TD.
An 11-yard gain by Grezaffi and several keepers set the pace for Vosburg to nail a 15-yard TD pass to Carson Moore with 4:56 in the third quarter.
St. John quickly responded when Blanchard fired a 78-yard TD to Rivet with 4:31 remaining the quarter.
The Hornets seized the opportunity on St. John later in the third when Matthew Langlois intercepted a Blanchard pass that gave Catholic-PC possession at midfield. It gave Grezaffi an opportunity to race 30 yards for the touchdown just two playes later.
Blanchard took the "never give up" approach when he found Lockett for a 50-yard TD pass with 10 minutes left in the game.