Gents close out regular season at Northwest
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – With their hopes of an outright district championship dashed last week by the Eunice Bobcats, the Crowley Gents now turn their attention to the next best thing - a co-championship or runnersup spot in 4-AAA.
In order to accomplishment that, the Gents (7-2, 3-1) must first get past a struggling Northwest team on the road tonight.
“We have an opportunity with a win to be 4-1 in district play and, of course, (no worse than) outright second place in the district,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate. “We started the season off with non-district play and went 4-1 and with a win this week, it puts us at 4-1 in district play and 8-2 overall. We’ll wait and see what unfolds as far as the power ratings and where we’re at in the playoff system.”
Crowley is currently sitting at No. 14 in the unofficial LHSAA power ratings heading into tonight’s contest. Although a victory doesn’t necessarily guarantee the Gents to move up in the standings, getting back on track is Tate’s main concern.
“What we need is a game where we go out and we execute and get our timing back on our offensive running plays and our pass plays,” said Tate. “We just need to get our timing back because that’s something that we really missed last week.”
Tate’s Gents struggled repeatedly on offense against Eunice in a 13-0 loss last week, posting just 79 yards on the ground and 43 through the air on a rain-soaked, muddy field at Gardiner Memorial Stadium.
“You know, last week we had two practices in the mud and we actually had to play (the game) in the mud and we were a little bit dead legged coming off it,” said Tate. “But I’ve really been pleased with the work and the attitude of our players this week. We’re just happy to be out in the sunshine and on a dry field.”
The weather conditions are looking ideal for tonight’s game so the only obstacle really facing the Gents will be the Raiders, who have shown the ability to score in bunches despite their 1-8 record.
The Raiders have scored 20 points or more in four of their eight losses and they scored a season-high 34 in a loss to Westlake.
“Northwest had one of their better efforts of the season against Westlake and Westlake is a good football team,” said Tate. “If you watch that film, you see what kind of potential they really have. They have a lot of skill guys that can make plays not only throwing but running the football as well. They have a number of skill guys that are really good athletes with the football and they do spread it around.”
Northwest wasn’t as fortunate the last two weeks. The Raiders lost to Eunice, 49-6, two weeks ago and followed that up with a 47-6 loss to Iowa last Friday.
Against Iowa, the Raiders mustered just 93 yards of total offense and six first downs while their defense gave up 207 yards on the ground and 101 through the air.
“They give some different looks on their defensive alignments so that’s a concern with our offense picking it up and being able to execute,” said Tate. “We’re not sure how they will line up against some of our formations so that’s always a concern regardless of who the opponent is.
“It’s Week 10 and it’s a time of the year where you’d like to be peaking. You want to be playing your best ball of the year in Week 10 and getting ready for the playoffs. I think anybody who has experienced the playoffs will tell you that if you have a hot team going into it, you will have a chance to advance. If you’re peaking at that time of the year, you really have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs.”