Crowley thumps Northwest in district finale
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – The Crowley Gents are back on track - and not a minute too soon.
A week after suffering a crushing 13-0 loss to Eunice for the District 4-AAA championship, and one week before the start of the state playoffs, the Gents returned to their winning ways Friday, routing the Northwest Raiders, 42-0.
The Gents racked up 254 total yards and scored twice in each of the first three quarters in the regular-season finale that was shortened due to both teams electing to play running time the entire second half.
“We came out and both sides of the football were really smooth,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate after the victory, one that sent his team to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in District 4-AAA play. “We executed really well offensively. We threw the ball well early in the game and ran the ball really well early in the game too.”
The Gents now await the announcement today of the Class AAA playoff bracket and first-round pairings. Tate is hopeful that the Gents, No. 14 in the unofficial power point rankings heading into Friday’s game, are awarded a first-round home game. The top 16 teams in the 32-team field earn first-round home games.
“We’ll find out who we play and we’ll start preparing for the third part of the season Monday,” said Tate. “I’m really proud of the guys and proud of the coaches. To go 4-1 in district play and outright second place in district play...Hopefully we can get this thing rolling.”
Friday, the Gents had no problem getting things rolling against a Northwest team that had won just once in 2009.
The Gents, in their best offensive showing of the regular season, racked up 81 rushing yards and 102 through the air and scored on four of their seven possessions in the first 24 minutes.
Crowley tailback Tonori Boutte led the way, scoring twice within the first six minutes of the opening frame and three times overall.
The rout began after Darius Mills picked off a pass and returned it nearly 20 yards to help set up Boutte’s first score.
Starting at the Northwest 43-yard line, Crowley quarterback D’Myrus Daniels connected with Donavon Morris for a 35-yard completion on the Gents’ first play. Boutte followed with a 2-yard run and later scored on a 6-yard run.
Minutes later, with Northwest faced with a fourth down, Crowley’s Tuskani Figaro broke around the end on the Raiders’ punt attempt and blocked the kick, giving the Gents the ball back on the 14-yard line.
After an incomplete pass, Daniels handed to Boutte again and the speedy back did the rest, slicing through the middle of the Northwest defense for his second score of the contest.
“Tonori didn’t get a lot of touches tonight, but he’s really developing as a running back,” said Tate of Boutte, who finished the night with 128 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries. “He’s continuing to get better back there and that’s a big key for us.”
Crowley’s defense came through again in the second quarter when Brandon Harmon picked off a pass and returned it to the Northwest 21-yard line. From there, Boutte picked up 13 yards on the first play and Daniels finished off the 3-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown run.
Northwest failed to get anything going again and turned the ball over on downs midway through the half.
Daniels took advantage agian on the first play, hitting Kaleb Cormier for a 19-yard gain down to the 22. Boutte picked up 19 more yards on two carries before Morris scored from three yards out on an option to give the Gents a 28-0 advantage with six minutes left in the half.
Nick Hoffpauir came up with an interception late in the half but Daniels returned the favor on the very next play.
Daniels, who had just four rushes for 13 yards, completed six of his 10 pass attempts, all in the first half, for 102 yards.
Morris was Daniels top target, hauling in two passes for 35 yards. Kristian Allen had one catch for 28 yards. Cormier’s lone reception went for 19 yards; Nicholas Cavell had one catch for 12 yards and Boutte had one for eight.
Crowley’s defense limited Northwest to just 47 total yards of offense in the first half and four first downs, two by way of penalties.
“We wanted to come out and be clean defensively, try not to give up too many big plays and play good solid, sound run defense and we were able to do that,” said Tate. “The defense created a bunch of turnovers in the first half and our offense finished some drives with some touchdowns.”
Crowley’s starters took the field in the second half for the Gents’ first offensive possession and didn’t stay on the field long.
Starting at their own 38, the Gents moved to the 47 yin two plays thanks to Boutte. Then, on third-and-one, Boutte kicked into overdrive, hitting a seam and outrunning three defensive players down the near sideline for a 54-yard touchdown run.
Northwest failed to answer, losing yards on three plays before being forced to punt from deep in their own territory. A high snap on the punt turned the ball over on downs at the 5-yard line.
Crowley’s Danny Malbrough, who had three carries for nine yards, got the call on the ensuing play, busting through the middle of the Raiders’ defense for his first touchdown of the season.
Leading 42-0 with just over five minutes remaining, Tate elected to send in the reserves for the remainder of the contest.
“In the second half, we really wanted to shorten the game and get some other kids some playing time,” said Tate.
Northwest mounted a drive late in the fourth quarter, getting down near the red zone before turning the ball over on downs.
The Raiders finished the contest with 100 total yards of offense, most of which occurred on that final drive.
Christopher Maxie led the Raiders on the ground with 12 carries for 17 yards while DeQuincy Jones picked up 12 yards on 4 carries.
Senegal completed four of his 27 pass attempts for 82 yards.