Crowley Gents pitch shutout at Bolton
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – Tommy Tate was looking for two things out of his Crowley Gents heading into Friday’s home contest against the Bolton Bears - a victory and an improvement from his offense.
The Gents gave him both, racking up 324 total yards of offense and 15 first downs in a 33-0 shellacking of the visiting Bears.
With the victory, the Gents improved to 2-1 on the season. The Bears fell to 0-3.
“It was a good challenge and I was real proud of the way the kids performed tonight,” said Tate. “It’s a good win. It puts us at 2-1 on the year ,but we still have to get a lot better.”
The biggest offensive improvement for Crowley was in their ground game. After compiling just 136 yards rushing in the first two games, the Gents broke loose for 251 and three touchdowns against the Bears.
“We kind of challenged the offense and they responded tonight,” said Tate. “We really were able to run the ball well tonight and that’s something we will have to continue to do to have a chance.”
Tonori Boutte equaled the Gents’ season rushing total by himself, rushing 10 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
His first came on the second play of the second quarter, when he hit the sideline and outran four defenders for a 21-yard touchdown. His highlight of the night, however, occurred late in the fourth quarter when he broke a tackle and raced through the heart of the Bolton defense for a 69-yard touchdown.
Quarterback D’Myrus Daniels followed Boutte with 11 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown - on a 4-yard scamper in the first quarter.
Crowley’s offense wasn’t the only thing that excited Tate, thanks largely in part to Troy Wilridge.
The multi-dimensional junior returned a punt 41 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter and then opened the second half with an 86-yard kickoff return for a score.
Donavon Morris also had a big punt return that went for 39 yards in the third quarter.
“We’ve been waiting for some return yardage and we got that tonight,” said Tate. “That was a big improvement.”
Defensively, the Gents were outstanding again, holding Bolton to just 99 total yards of offense to extend the Bears’ scoreless streak to 12 quarters.
“Defensively, we played hard all night,” said Tate. “Anytime you can get a goose egg on the board, you’re doing something right. They (Bolton) had some opportunities to score but the defense tightened up, overcame some poor field position at times and really did a good job of holding them out of the end zone.”
Crowley sophomore defensive back Tuskani Figaro led the defensive charge with three sacks. He logged numerous tackles on the night as did linebackers George Henagan and Calvin Lewis. Henagan also snatched his first interception of the season midway through the second quarter and Cade Abshire recovered a fumble.
One of the few negatives in the game was in Crowley’s passing game. The Gents completed just six of their 22 pass attempts for 73 yards.
“We’re spreading the field, we’re trying to run the football and, of course, people are trying to defend the running game,” said Tate. “If that happens, then we have to be able to throw the football.
“We ran the ball well tonight. But, of course, we’d like to be able to throw it and catch it a lot better. We weren’t very efficient throwing and catching the football, or as good as we need to be, and that’s something that we really need to improve on.
Daniels completed six of his 19 pass attempts for 73 yards. Two of those six completions were to Boutte for 31 yards while Morris had one catch for 23.
Figaro and Andre Milles took over under center in the fourth quarter, misfiring on three pass attempts.
Another negative for Tate was penalties. The Gents were flagged 18 times for 189 yards. Bolton, on the other hand, was whistled for four infractions and 35 yards.
“I’ll take full credit for all of that,” said Tate of the penalties. “We had a (officiating) crew that was very flag happy tonight. They were calling it strict and when that happens, we have to realize it and avoid the unnecessary penalties. There’s going to be some hustle penalties and that happens in football but we have to clean up the unnecessary penalties.”
Tate knows that even with the strides made since Week 1, his team still has a lot of room for improvement.
“We felt like we took some steps forward in our special teams as well as offensively and defensively so we thought we were a little bit better football team tonight. But, we’ve got to get a lot better by next week. We’re playing against a lot better football team. I think our players understand that and our coaches do too.”