Gents host Comeaux in season opener
CROWLEY – There is nothing unusual about game week preparations once football season begins.
Unless you are the Crowley Gents.
For the second straight week, the Gents are prepping for their season opener, that after last week’s contest at Patterson was canceled due to concerns over the approach of Tropical Storm Lee.
So now, instead of having worked out the kinks and chalked up valuable real-game experience, the Gents head into tonight’s non-district game against 5A Comeaux – their new opener - hoping the cancellation of the Patterson game won’t come back to haunt them .
“From Week 1 to Week 2, there’s a lot of improvement with any football team regardless of what level,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate. “You get a chance to work out some of the kinks of Game 1, starting with special teams, penalties and turnovers. We didn’t get that opportunity to see how we’re responding to game-type situations.
“You have to condition your team to play in game-type conditions for four quarters of football, mentally and physically. And we missed an opportunity when we failed to get Week 1 in. But we can’t do anything about that. We just have to continue to practice and prepare.”
With the regular scheduled opener out the window, the Gents turned their attention the Spartans, who are coached by former Crowley High head coach Kevin Magee
The Spartans enter tonight’s contest at Gardiner Memorial Stadium (7 o’clock) with a 1-0 record after cruising past Morgan City , 37-0, last week.
“Comeaux is a very good and a much-improved high school football team,” said Tate of the Spartans, who won one game in 2010. “They were very impressive in their victory over Morgan City last week and you can see that they are playing with a lot of confidence.”
Comeaux was paced last week by running back Jhauri Mason. The senior, who sat out last season after transferring from St. Thomas More, had six carries for 77 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown run.
Mason isn’t Comeaux’s only threat, however.
Tyrek Malveaux (7-45) and James Guillory (5-33) aided in the Spartans racking up 175 yards on the ground.
“Offensively, it starts in the backfield,” said Tate. “They have a really good fullback and two really good tailbacks.”
Comeaux is also capable of striking through the air.
Travis Southerd, a junior, took over at quarterback over the summer in order to give former starter, Kevin Fourquier, more time on defense at safety.
Last week, Southerd completed four passes for 119 yards, including touchdown strikes of 9 yards (Elijah Edmonds), 38 yards ( Fourquier) and 68 yards (Malveaux).
“Their quarterback is a young man that does a great job with running the offense,” said Tate. “Play-action passes, throwing the ball down the field, he throws a good deep ball. They throw deep fade routes, deep post routes and they do a good job of running the stretch and counter and they run a lot of bootlegs off of them.”
Although Comeaux’s offense presents a stiff challenge, Tate feels his squad will rise to the occasion.
“We have to play really physical and fast on defense,” said Tate of the keys to victory. “We have to play with great effort and try to create turnovers defensively.”
Defensively, Comeaux runs a 4-3 scheme with four returners (three linebackers and one defensive back) from last year’s squad.
That defense limited Morgan City to just six first downs and 103 total yards last week.
“Defensively, they run a 4-3 and that’s something that they have been doing and they’re very familiar with it,” said Tate. “What sticks out the most is the athleticism and strength of both their offensive and defensive line.
“And then you’ve got their skill guys. The linebackers get in on a lot of plays and they have the Fourquier kid playing free safety. He’s got a lot of confidence back there and he helps cover up for anything that goes wrong up front.”
For the Gents, the keys to success are the same as always.
“We have to try to eliminate all unnecessary penalties, that’s number one,” said Tate. “We have to try to create field position with our kicking game, do a good job in the coverage phase.
“Basically it’s the same keys to every football game that you play, regardless of who the opponent is. It’s just getting that one game under our belts and seeing where we are at.”