Crowley prepares for life without Daniels
CROWLEY – The agony of defeat was felt in more ways than one for the Crowley Gents Friday evening at Gardiner Memorial Stadium.
The Gents suffered a 28-20 defeat to Class AAAA’s No. 3 ranked Jennings that was compounded by the loss, possibly for the season, of star quarterback D’Myrus Daniels.
Daniels injured his left knee late in the third quarter after breaking loose on a 17-yard run to the Jennings 31-yard line.
The extent of the injury was unknown as of press time. An MRI was scheduled for Monday but had to be pushed back to Tuesday..
“Like I said before, best case scenario is it’ll be a four- to five-week deal; worst case will be the rest of the year,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate. “That’s basically where we’re at. We’ll have to wait until we get the word on the MRI to see what exactly the extent of the injury is. ”
Daniels was having an exceptional game prior to the injury. The senior quarterback had 14 carries for 67 yards and had completed 10 of 13 pass attempts for 151 before going down.
The loss of Daniels is a big blow to Crowley’s highly-touted offense, but there is little time for grieving with the second game of the season against Abbeville just days away.
“We can’t do any other thing but prepare like he (Daniels) is not going to play,” said Tate. “He’s not ready to play right now and we won’t put him back on the field until he’s 100 percent ready to go. We did the same thing with him in August camp and we’ll do the same thing in this case.”
For now, Tuskani Figaro will step in as the Gents’ quarterback. The junior took all the snaps in the scrimmage and the jamboree with Daniels nursing a sore shoulder prior to the season opener.
“Tuskani will be the quarterback for now and Andre Mills will be the backup,” said Tate. “Tuskani has had a lot of work at quarterback in the last two years and has had some varsity game experience last year. And in the last two weeks of August camp (this year), he took all the snaps until the first week.”
Figaro overcame two interceptions in the jamboree and helped lead the Gents to an 18-7 victory over Erath. In that game, he completed five passes for 61 yards and one touchdown while rushing 10 times for 88 yards.
In Friday’s contest, Figaro completed one pass for 11 yards and rushed for 23 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
“I think the team will really rally around Tuskani and he’ll be fine,” said Tate. “He’s a very, very good athlete with a lot of confidence. He plays hard and he does a good job for us in whatever capacity we ask him to do whether it be defense, quarterback, kicking, whatever.”
Daniels leaves some big shoes to fill after passing for over 1,500 yards and nine touchdowns in 2009. He also led the team in rushing with 785 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“That’s the thing when there is an injury, everybody has to pick up their game a little bit,” said Tate. “The people around him have to get better. It’s a big challenge but it’s a challenge that this team is facing.
“Our challenge is for each and every one of us from the center to the wide receivers to pick up their game a little bit and play harder and get better each week. This is still very early in the season, we’ve played one ballgame so there’s a lot of football left to be played.”