Gents look to avenge 2011 loss to Comeaux
CROWLEY – The Crowley Gents’ 41-36 victory over No. 6 Patterson on Saturday was one of the program’s biggest victories since the Gents’ undefeated season in 2006.
It was a game that saw the Gents jump out to a big lead, lose it and end up having to rally from a deficit twice to walk away victorious.
As impressive as that was, it is yesterday’s news and now the Gents have to quickly turn their focus to their next opponent - Class 5A Comeaux.
The Gents and the Spartans will square off this evening at Comeaux High School at 7 o’clock.
“The kids realize that we won our first game and they realize that it was a very big win. But that’s it and it’s done,” said CHS coach Josh Fontenot. “We’ve been preaching to our kids that we are going to take it one week at a time. We didn’t set team goals this year and I did that on purpose because I don’t want us thinking any further ahead than our next game.
“Our goal last week was to beat Patterson and we accomplished it. Now, we have a new goal. Our goal is to beat Comeaux and we’ll move on from there.”
That goal appears to be a lofty one considering the fact that Comeaux, which returns seven starters on each side of the ball, manhandled the Gents in 2011 to the tune of 49-7.
“Last year, they beat us up pretty good,” said Fontenot, whose 2011 season opener against Patterson was canceled due to Tropical Storm Lee. “And a lot of that has to do with Comeaux. They are a good team and they gave us a lot of trouble with their size.
“But what hurt us a lot last year was not playing week one. You lose out on ironing out all those first-game wrinkles like the fumbles, bad reads and missed blocks and all that stuff. When the team that you play has played a game and you haven’t, that hurts.”
The Spartans return the bulk of their offense that posted those 49 points on the Gents last year.
Quarterback Travis Southard, who completed nine passes for 121 yards last year, returns as well as running backs Marvin Barker (12-96, TD), Tyrek Malveaux (10-80, 2 TD) and James Guillory (8-55, TD).
“Their offense is a little different this year,” said Fontenot. “They seem to be trying to do some more wing-t type stuff, but they still have their I (formation) stuff mixed in.
“They have a lot back (offensively) and their backs are all good. They run hard and they’re very downhill. They’re not trying to put any moves on you. They’re coming to get you and run over you.”
The Spartans ground attack is aided by an offensive line that returns two starters and averages just over 220 pounds across the front.
“Their offensive line is pretty good,” said Fontenot. “They are going to give us trouble because they are way bigger than us. We’re going to have to do things right. We’re not going to be able to get away with playing the wrong technique or being in the wrong gap because the holes will be huge just because they are going to move us around a little bit. But coach (Jeptha) Wall is ready for that. We know what we’re going into so we have to have a plan and be ready for that.”
Defensively, the Spartans return seven players, including three on the line, off a team that limited Crowley to just 251 total yards in 2011. The Gents’ potent ground attack was only able to muster 51 yards in the first half and finished the night with 114.
“Their defense is the same and it’s a staple of what coach (Kevin) MaGee does,” said Fontenot. “They run a 3-4 and they run it extremely well. It’s by the book and their kids are very well taught.”
That Spartan defense should prove to be a challenge even though the Gents did put up some eye popping offensive numbers in their opener.
The Gents grounded it out to the tune of 522 yards. Danny Malbrough did most of the damage with a career best 315 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries. Quarterback Andre Mills added 150 yards on 22 carries and Chris Lewis picked up 57 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
However, the Gents’ offense also had four turnovers, all fumbles, that thwarted potential scoring drives.
“Saturday was a good night for us,” said Fontenot, whose squad racked up 597 total yards. “But 600-yard nights are rare. That doesn’t happen very often. We know that’s probably not going to happen again. Four turnover nights, though, that can’t happen. That cannot continue for us to be successful.”
Fortunately, the turnovers didn’t come back to haunt the Gents.
That was mainly due to the effort of Crowley’s defense, especially in the fourth quarter. The Gents limited the Jacks to 11 yards and forced two turnovers in the final 12 minutes to seal the victory.
“I was extremely proud of our defense,” said Fontenot. “They overcame four offensive turnovers against one of the best offensive teams in the state.”
The Gents will need the same type of effort, on both sides of the ball, in order to be successful and remain unbeaten.
“With the way our schedule is set up, it’s going to be extremely challenging each and every week,” said Fontenot. “This one is as challenging as week one, if not more, because of the style of play. Our style of play matched up well with Patterson because we’re both spread teams and both kind of spread defenses.”
Comeaux is different.
“Comeaux is a pound it down your throat team with a pound it down your throat defense,” said Fontenot. “That’s a hard matchup for us.
“It’s going to be a challenge and it’s something that we’re definitely not taking lightly. The kids understand what it takes and what it means to go in there and win this game.”