Crowley opens 4-3A play at Iowa

CROWLEY – Forget the last four games, the real season for the Crowley Gents is just beginning.

The Gents, 2-2 through their first four games, kick off the most important part of their schedule tonight when they open District 4-3A play at Iowa .

Kickoff is set for 7 o’clock.

“The district season is really what you prepare for and this is the first game,” CHS coach Tommy Tate said Wednesday. “Really, all six teams are 0-0 and there’s always a lot more at stake when you enter district play.

“With that comes a lot more intensity and a lot more hard play. People play really hard in district because it just means a lot more.

“It’s a new season and we’re looking forward to it. We’ve prepared well this week and, hopefully, we’ll have a good game.”

For the Gents, looking ahead and not in the past will be the key as they attempt to put last week’s 55-20 home loss to Teurlings behind them.

“Whether you win or you lose, you have to put that game behind you,” said Tate. “You have to use each game to get better. Tough losses are always tough to put behind you, but you have to move on and look forward to the next challenge.

“The Teurlings game is behind us. We looked at the film and saw some of the things we could have done better and saw some of the things that we did well. We’ll try to build on the things that we really though we did well on and try to correct or improve on the things that we didn’t do so well.”

Improvement is a must for the Gents.

Iowa enters tonight’s contest at 4-1 on the season and is coming off a dominating 47-28 victory over Bolton . In that contest, the Yellow Jackets racked up 414 total yards with 297 yards coming on the ground.

Junior quarterback Austin Theriot heads up the Yellow Jackets’ offense. He ran for 56 yards and a touchdown on eight carries last week and also completed 10 of his 19 pass attempts for 117 yards and another score.

“Austin Theriot has some experience and he has a lot of confidence. And he has some talent,” said Tate of the Iowa quarterback. “The young man is a runner.”

Running back Gerald Marshall also had a good night, rushing for a career-high 215 yards and five touchdowns on 21 carries.

Mason Ceasar is also a threat, hauling in five passes for 64 yards and a touchdown while Tanner Buller had five receptions for 53 yards.

“Their offense is multiple,” said Tate. “They get in the two-back I offense with a lot of unbalanced formations. When they get in the two back offense, they run some option. They run the veer scheme; they run the mid-line scheme and they run the zone scheme.

“Then when they get in the one-back spread, you get the zone reads. All these plays are designed for their quarterback to run the football.

“But they do have some good tailbacks. The Marshall kid is really doing some good things and the offensive line is doing a good job.

“I’m impressed with them offensively. I really think they have a good scheme and I think they have been doing a good job with it. They’ve been putting a lot of points up on the board.”

The Yellow Jackets have scored 179 points in five games.

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets return just one starter from last year and, not surprisingly, they have given up points in bunches - 126 to be exact.

Iowa held Bolton to just one touchdown in the first two quarters a week ago, but gave up 21 points in the final 24 minutes.

“Defensively, you watch them ( Iowa ) and each game is different looks, different fronts,” said Tate. “It looks like their trying to match defensive fronts with the opposing team’s offense. I think their base is a 4-2-5. With the spread offense, the 4-2-5 matches up really good and that’s what we’re anticipating seeing.”

Despite the high point total given up by Iowa , Tate is impressed with the Yellow Jackets’ defense.

“Their defensive line plays with a lot of intensity,” said Tate. “The linebackers are very mobile and very good tacklers and the secondary, they do a good job with their schemes; they always line up right, they don’t have any busts in their coverages and they seem to be good run support guys.”

For Crowley , defensively, the play has been spotty at best.

The Gents gave up a combined 564 yards and 22 points while forcing nine turnovers in their two victories – Washington-Marion and Peabody.

In their two losses - Comeaux and Teurlings – the Gents gave up 104 points, 1,111 yards and forced zero turnovers.

“Defensively, we’ve had some moments where we’ve played really good team defense,” said Tate. “We have to do a better job of tackling in the secondary though. Our alignments can improve, our reads can improve and then overall team tackling can improve. That all things that our kids and our coaches see on film.

“We are a better football team defensively than we were when we started the season, but there is still room for improvement.

“Again, we have a lot of new starters defensively and they have four games under their belts. With that comes a lot more confidence with their alignments, with their reads and with their performance. I’m looking for a better performance this week.”

Offensively, the Gents have been putting up good numbers both running and throwing the ball.

Davante Bourque has racked up 481 of the Gents’ 746 rushing yards this year while quarterback Andre Mills has completed 29 of 68 pass attempts for 544 yards and seven touchdowns.

Bourque, who has four rushing touchdowns, also leads the Gents in receiving with eight catches for 202 yards and two scores. Kaleb Cormier follows with seven receptions for 160 yards and three touchdowns.

“As a whole, during the season, I think we have shown signs of improvement on offense,” said Tate. “And a lot of that has to do with maturity and first-year starters getting games under their belt.

“I think we’re doing some things better up front and we’re doing some things running the football. And we have had some openings in the passing game. It’s just putting it all together at once where we’re spreading the football around, having a good balance running and passing the football. Those things just have not come together yet but we’re still working at it.

“We’ve made some strides. We’ve played against some good defensive teams, we’ve played against some good defensive units and that only makes you better. We’ve got to continue to keep playing and continue to prepare well to get better.

“I know we’re a better football team than we were four weeks ago. Hopefully, we’ll have our best performance Friday night.”

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