Gents blow past Church Point
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Crowley Gents finally appear to be putting all the pieces together.
Case in point: Thursday’s 42-0 rout of Acadia Parish and District 4-AAA rival Church Point.
The Gents, off to their best start since 2006, scored early and often while defensively holding Church Point to just 71 total yards (32 rushing, 39 passing) and five first downs en route to a surprisingly easy victory over the Bears.
The victory extended the Gents’ win streak to six games and lifted them to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in league play. Eunice, which defeated Iowa Friday night, is also 2-0 in league play. The two meet Week 9.
“Our kids came out and played with a motor and with passion tonight,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate following the victory.
That was especially true on defense, particularly in the first half.
For starters, defensive back Troy Wilridge partially blocked a punt early in the first quarter that gave the Gents a first down at the Church Point 12-yard line with 8:08 remaining in the frame.
CHS quarterback D’Myrus Daniels took over from there, rushing around the corner on the first play to give the Gents a 6-0 advantage. The extra point attempt failed.
Church Point then started its ensuing drive at its own 29, but was unable to move the ball against a swarming Gent defense and was forced to punt.
Once again, it didn’t take long for Crowley to capitalize.
Starting at his own 30-yard line, Daniels needed just one play to extend the Gents’ lead. On first down, he connected with wideout Donavon Morris in stride over the middle for a 70-yard touchdown strike. Daniels then hit Kaleb Cormier in the corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion to give the Gents a 14-0 lead.
Morris also had a reception for an apparent 11-yard touchdown, but it was called back on a motion penalty. He finished the night as the Gents’ leading receiver with three catches for 89 yards.
“We knew coming in that we were going to struggle to cover all those athletes that they have,” said Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux. “We struggled to cover them. They made some plays and we didn’t.”
Crowley added to its lead midway through the second quarter, mounting a five-play, 47-yard drive that was capped by a 9-yard touchdown run by Daniels. Nick Hoffpauir tacked on the PAT to put the Gents up 21-0.
With just over two minutes in the half, Crowley got the ball back one last time and took full advantage.
Starting from their own 45, the Gents marched down to the CPHS 27 before Daniels hit Hoffpauir on a 20-yard pass down to the 7. Boutte took honors from there, breaking through the heart of the Church Point defense for his second touchdown of the night.
A bad snap on the PAT resulted in Morris firing a pass to George Henagan in the end zone for a two-point conversion to put the Gents up 29-0.
“We hurt ourselves early with some penalties that took a touchdown from us and that was frustrating,” said Tate. “But what I liked is that we overcame that and played through it. We didn’t blink, we kept playing hard and really got better as the game went on and that’s what good teams do.”
The Gents came out firing again in the second half. Daniels connected with Kaleb Cormier on the sideline and the sophomore wideout did the rest, outrunning Church Point defenders for a 60-yard touchdown to put the locals up 36-0.
Crowley’s defense came up big again late in the third quarter when they forced a fumble that was recovered by Tuskani Figaro at the CPHS 7.
Boutte rushed down to the 4 on the first play before hitting paydirt on the very next play.
“We knew coming in that they (Crowley) were going to be real physical and we didn’t handle their physical nature real well,” said Arceneaux. “We didn’t help ourselves either with penalties and turnovers. They are a good football team and they deserved to win tonight.”
Crowley held Church Point’s trio of running backs (Von Duplechain, Bruce Citizen and Joseph Carrier) to a combined 50 yards but hit quarterback Hunter Wimberly as well as two other backs for minus 22 yards.
“The defensive line played outstanding,” said Tate. “The defensive scheme was excellent. Coach (Cedric) Figaro and his staff did a great job of preparing these kids. When they threw the ball, we got great pressure on the quarterback. Anytime you can get a shutout you’re doing something well on defense.”
Offensively, Daniels and Tonori Boutte led the Gents’ ground attack, combining for 128 yards and four touchdowns. Daniels scored twice, rushing eight times for 58 yards. Boutte had 70 yards and two scores on 18 carries.
Daniels also threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Morris’ three catches for 89 yards led all receivers while Cormier had two receptions for 77 yards and Dorris Senegal had two for 20. Also hauling in passes were Boutte (2-12), Hoffpauir (1-25) and Cade Abshire (1-10).
“Offensively, we were very balanced again and that’s what you like to see,” said Tate.
The loss drops Church Point to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in league play.
“We just have to continue to work hard and continue to try and get better,” said Arceneaux, whose Bears travel to Iowa Friday. “Our goal is still to make the playoffs. We’re still in the district hunt. I don’t think anybody is going to go through the district undefeated so we’re still in the mix, we just have to find a way to get better.”
Crowley travels to Westlake to face the Rams Friday. Westlake is 3-4 on the season and 1-1 in district play following a 51-34 victory over Northwest Thursday.