Comeaux cruises past Crowley
By: CHRIS QUEBEDEAUX
CROWLEY – Kevin Magee has a number of fond memories of Gardiner Memorial Stadium from his years as a former defensive coordinator and head coach of the Crowley Gents.
Now, he can add another.
Playing in the “Valley” for just the third time as an opposing coach, Magee’s Comeaux Spartans manhandled the Gents on both sides of the football ball en route to a shocking 49-7 victory over his former team.
“It was tough standing on that other sideline looking around,” said Magee following the victory that sent his squad to 2-0 on the season. “I spent a lot of years here and tonight was kind of bittersweet.”
The victory lifted the Spartans, 1-9 a year ago, to 2-0. The Gents, meanwhile, who a week earlier had their season-opener against Patterson cancelled due to the approach of Tropical Storm Lee, fell to 0-1.
The Spartans shocked the home-standing Gents from the opening kickoff and bolted out to a 21-0 by halftime.
By then, it was obvious the Gents were in deep trouble. And it didn’t get any better in the second half.
“There’s no excuses,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate. “Comeaux just took it to us. We had a good idea that they were going to run the power game with their fullback and tailback and that’s what they did.
“We didn’t do a good job of tackling. We looked like we hadn’t played football in two weeks, basically that’s what it looked like.
“Again, you have to look at it realistically and Comeaux was a lot more physical than we were tonight.”
Comeaux controlled the line of scrimmage from the start, allowing five different Spartan running backs to rack up 166 yards on 21 carries in the first half.
The Spartans mounted an 11-play, 65-yard drive to start the game that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Travis Southard.
After forcing Crowley to punt after one first down on the ensuing possession, Comeaux drove 69 yards on five plays and scored on six-yard run by Tyrek Malveaux to go up 14-0 with 2:08 in the first quarter.
The Gents managed to pick up two first downs on their second series, but the drive was thwarted when quarterback Andre Mills was intercepted by Comeaux’s Kevin Fourquier at the Spartan 47.
This time Comeaux went 53 yards in just over three minutes. The seven-play drive was capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass from Southard to Hunter Guidry.
“We knew that we had to keep them (Crowley) off of the field because defensively, I was scared of the matchup,” said Magee. “I didn’t think we matched up with them athletically. So we challenged the offensive line to pound them and keep pounding them and the running backs to not let one guy bring them down. And it worked.”
Comeaux’s defensive line was also up to the challenge. The Spartans all but shut down Crowley’s potent ground attack, limiting the Gents to just 41 rushing yards in the first two quarters and 114 overall.
The Spartans did their best job on Crowley All-Stater and LSU commitment Devante Bourque, limiting him to just 51 yards on 12 carries.
“Up front, both offensively and defensively, they were a lot more physical than us,” said Tate. “And that’s something that we are going to have to be able to handle.
“We are not very big. We’re strong and we’re quick and we have to let our speed be a factor. But tonight, we didn’t do that.”
The Gents managed 73 yards on the ground in the second half, but their lone score of the game was chalked up through the air on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Mills to Kaleb Cormier in the fourth quarter.
“We knew they were more athletic than we were,” said Magee. “We just had to do what we were coached to do - be in the right place and swarm the football. And for the most part, we did that.
“If someone would have told me we would have held them to seven (points), I would have lost the house on that. I thought our defense played extremely well.”
Comeaux added four more touchdowns in the second half and racked up 226 yards in the final 24 minutes to finish the night with 494 total yards of offense.
The Spartans had 51 run plays for a total of 373 yards and they completed nine passes for another 121 yards.
“I just don’t think we tackled very well,” said Tate. “We didn’t tackle well at any position - linebacker, safety or defensive line.”
Offensively, Crowley sputtered most of the night. The Gents managed just 114 yards on 27 carries on the ground while Mills completed eight of his 22 pass attempts for 137 yards and two interceptions. A number of his incompletions were due to dropped balls by his receivers.
“We just weren’t very consistent tonight,” said Tate. “We were off offensively. They (Comeaux) did do a good job with their interior defense and forced us to throw the football. And we had some drops.
“Hopefully we’ll make those catches as the season goes on.
“Andre, for his first start, handled some tough situations pretty well, but there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Bourque was held well below his average from last season but he did have his moments.
He had a 24-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter that helped set up the Gents’ only score and he also had a 48-yard kickoff return midway through the third quarter.
Mills followed Bourque with 30 rushing yards on 11 carries while Calvin Robinson picked up 31 yards on three carries. Danny Malbrough had one carry for 12 yards.
Cormier led all Gent receivers with three catches for 84 yards. Damon Malbrough followed with two receptions for 37 yards and Trevan Clarke had two catches for 16 yards.
Mason paced Comeaux’s ground attack with 15 carries for 114 yards and one touchdown. Marvin Baker added 96 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries while Malveaux had 10 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns. James Guillory rushed eight times for 55 yards and a score and Dontrel Lopez had one carry for 15 yards.
Southard hit seven different receivers for his nine completions. Donald Thibodeaux and Guidry each hauled in two passes for 45 and 27 yards respectively.
“We did do some good things tonight, I just don’t think we were very physical,” said Tate. “We didn’t do a good job of swarming the football and tackling and that was the dominating part of the game.
“It was hard for us to get them (Spartans) off the field, it was hard for us to get them into punting situations. That is something that we really have to take a look at.”
The Gents will return to action next week when they travel to Lake Charles to take on Class 4A Washington Marion, who fell to 1-1 Friday with a 34-20 loss at Barbe.
Comeaux will entertain Breaux Bridge Friday.