Crowley Middle, St. Michael set for annual Rice Bowl

CROWLEY – The cross-town rivalry between Crowley High and Notre Dame may be two weeks away, but locals fans can get a sneak peak at a future matchup between the two schools when Crowley Middle School plays host to St. Michael on Tuesday in the annual Rice Bowl at Gardnier Memorial Stadium.

Action is slated to start at 5:30 p.m. with the 7th graders taking the field. The 8th-graders take the field in the second game shortly after the completion of the first game.

“This is really a community thing,” said CMS coach Kelly Mills of the annual game that was renewed in 2005 after four years of play in the early ‘70s. “It’s a Crowley thing. It’s just good for the community and for the schools. It’s bragging rights.”

St. Michael coach Brannon Trahan agrees.

“I think it’s a big deal I think more for the city and the community for us to bring both schools together,” said Trahan. “It’s a good fundraiser for both schools and it’s just good, healthy competition.”

Tuesday’s game, which will also be broadcast on 1450 KSIG, shapes up as possible classic between the two schools, who have played a number of close games in the last six years. St. Michael rallied from a 13-point deficit last year and upended the Jr. Gents, 20-13.

“This is a pretty big game for us,” said Trahan. “They have a lot of speed and they are a very well-coached team. They always come in ready to play every year.”

Trahan’s squad enters the contest with a perfect record after victories over Iota, Mire, Fatima, Cathedral and St. Genevieve.

“We’ve been pretty fortunate this year,” said Trahan. “We have a pretty good group of kids and we’ve been fortunate so far to play mistake-free ball and get a break here and there.”

Crowley, the Acadia/Jeff Davis Parish league champion, also has an impressive resumé. The Gents went 4-1-1 on the season and own victories over Cathedral, Jennings, Rayne and Iota. They played to a 6-6 tie with Church Point and their only loss was to Breaux Bridge (6-0).

“We’ve been playing pretty good on both sides of the ball,” said Mills. “We run a spread offense similar to Crowley High and, defensively, we haven’t given up more than one touchdown in a game this year.”

The Rice Bowl originated in 1972 and continued for four years before the event was halted due to unknown reasons. The rivalry was rekindled in 2005 and has been played every year since. Crowley leads the overall series, 7-3.

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