Gents host Eunice for 4-AAA title
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – For Crowley High coach Tommy Tate and his Fighting Gents, it doesn’t get much bigger than tonight’s District 4-AAA showdown with the Eunice Bobcats.
Following a Week 1 loss to the Jennings Bulldogs, the Gents have reeled off seven straight victories and now they find themselves hosting the Bobcats for no less than a share of the District 4-AAA championship.
“In August, you hope that you’re playing for something in Week 9 and 10 during the regular season and we’ve put ourselves in position to have a really special year with a district championship,” said Tate, whose squad is 7-1 overall and 3-0 in league play heading into tonight’s matchup. “It has come down to this week and it is exciting for our players, coaches, faculty, administration and really all the Crowley High alumnus.”
The obstacle standing in the way of the Gents and their first district title in three years is a talented Eunice team that was the preseason favorite in 4-AAA. The Bobcats have scored 120 points in winning their last three games.
“You know, when the season started, everybody in the district thought Eunice would be in this position,” said Tate. “The rest of the district was really balanced between Westlake, Iowa, ourselves, Church Point and Northwest. I think everybody would probably agree that Eunice was expected to get here and they haven’t disappointed anybody.
“They have a very good football team and they have really gotten their offense going.”
Offensively, Eunice runs out of the wing-T with Trey Caesar being the trigger man. Caesar has racked up 870 yards and 12 touchdowns on 117 carries this year.
“Caesar is a fullback and that position gets a lot of touches in their style of offense,” said Tate. “He has really got it going for them but they do have some wingbacks that are very good also. They are really fast and they have good size.”
Another big weapon for Eunice is LSU commitment Tharold Simon at wideout. Eunice quarterback Stuart Turner has connected with Simon 17 times for 364 yards and two touchdowns.
“Their main weapon, of course, is throwing the football to Simon,” said Tate. “He has been a starter since he was a freshman and he’s very talented. Every time he touches the football, you kind of hold your breath.”
Crowley counters with a pretty stout offense of its own.
The Gents posted 341 total yards of offense last week in a 34-28 road victory over Westlake. In that game, CHS quarterback D’Myrus Daniels rushed 17 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns while also completing six passes for 136 yards and a score.
“Crowley is very versatile and balanced on offense and everything goes through their quarterback,” said Eunice coach Paul Trosclair.
Daniels has accounted for most of the Gents’ offense on the year, rushing 124 times for 647 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has also completed 59 of his 118 pass attempts for 1,000 yards and eight scores.
Donavon Morris is the Gents’ leading receiver with 19 catches for 510 yards and five touchdowns.
Eunice’s defense has also been stellar as of late, limiting Northwest to just 148 total yards and forcing six turnovers last week in a 49-6 victory over the Raiders.
“They play an attacking style of defense,” said Tate of Eunice. “They really get after you, try to stop your run and force you to throw the football. The blitz a lot so we expect to see that and that’s what we’re preparing for.”
Crowley’s defense continues to improve. Last week, the unit gave up just 205 rushing yards in their victory over Westlake while also turning in two defensive scores. Troy Wilridge picked up a fumble and returned it five yards for a touchdown and Darius Mills scored on a 40-yard interception return.
“Defensively, Crowley runs a good scheme and they are very aggressive so it will be a battle,” said Trosclair.