Gents run past Warhorses
CROWLEY – Peabody’s J.J. Wright put on quite a show Friday night against the Crowley Gents, rushing for 208 yards and one touchdown.
But as good as that was, Wright was upstaged by CHS star Davante Bourque, an LSU commitment, who shredded the Warhorses’ defense for 226 yards and a touchdown on just 17 carries in helping lead the Gents to a 34-6 Homecoming victory at Gardiner Memorial Stadium.
“Davante’s effort was outstanding,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate after the victory that sent his team to 2-1 on the season. “He kept hitting it there and you knew with the effort that he gives, he was going to break one at any time.
“I thought he ran hard and he ran tough. That’s the kind of effort we like to see from Davante.”
Bourque’s output highlighted an offensive night that saw the Gents rack up 363 total yards and 16 first downs.
And it wasn’t just on the ground; the Gents were also impressive through the air.
Although CHS quarterback Andre Mills completed just five passes for 59 yards, two of the throws went for touchdowns.
Mills hit Danny Malbrough on a 13-yard scoring strike just before the half and then connected with Caleb Cormier on a 39-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter.
“Mills is getting better,” said Tate of his first year starting quarterback. “He had a great ball to Kaleb on the touchdown and that was big. That’s something vertical down the field and we have to be able to convert those things. That was pretty to see and, hopefully, we’ll get much more of that because the opportunities will be there.”
Malbrough also had 50 yards rushing on four carries, including an 18-yard touchdown scamper.
And the big plays, and there were a number of them, weren’t limited to just the offense.
Crowley’s defense, despite giving up 235 total yards and 13 first downs, made play after play and caused three turnovers on the night.
The first turnover resulted in a score when Wright lost the ball midway through the first quarter.
Crowley linebacker Brody Deshotel picked up the loose pigskin and ran it in from 32 yards out. He then drilled the PAT to give the Gents a 7-0 advantage with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter.
Deshotel also recorded a multiple sacks while Alex LeBouef and Cade Abshire had a number of tackles for a loss.
“We really felt that we had to do some things inside to match up with their size,” said Tate. “We were doing some line movements and I thought we did a pretty good job inside.
“Our linebackers had to bow up and step in there and really attack because they were getting a lot of opportunities to make plays.
“And on the outside, they ran the toss a few times and Alex looked like he had a good night supporting the sweep.”
Dorris Senegal had a fumble recovery in the first quarter and then had a big hit for a loss late in the second frame. That was followed by a deflected pass by Jessie Harmon right before Brennan Andrus picked off a pass.
“Smiley (Andrus) had a real good night,” said Tate. “The defensive backs tackled well. They broke some runs but we tackled well and it limited the gains. That’s what you have to do in the secondary. You have to really be good tacklers, you have to converge on the football and limit the gains when they do pop one. For the most part, I thought we did that.”
Crowley got on the board early off Deshotel’s fumble recovery for a touchdown but Peabody answered when Wright scored on a one-yard run with 7:32 remaining in the first half. The Warhorse’s attempt at the two-point conversion failed, leaving the Gents clinging to a 7-6 lead.
Crowley’s defense came out strong in the second half, limiting the Warhorses to just 93 yards and five first downs in the final 24 minutes.
The Gents forced the Warhorses to a three-and-out to start the third quarter and then mounted a six-play, 81-yard drive that was capped by a 39-yard touchdown pass from Mills to Cormier.
Crowley’s next offensive series didn’t take nearly as much time as the previous one although it covered the same yardage.
After Bourque was hit for no gain on the first play, he took a handoff, reversed field, spun out of two potential tackles and then outran a defender, who had a good angle on him, for an 81-yard touchdown.
The Gents scored their final touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 55-yard drive.
Bourque popped a seven-yard run on the first play and then scampered 23 yards on the next to get down to the 15. Calvin Robinson was then hit for a loss on first down, but on the next play, Mills connected with Malbrough on an 18-yard scoring strike.
“Really and truely, we wanted to come out and play four quarters of football and we did,” said Tate. “You just have to give our kids credit, I thought they played hard for four quarters. They gave great effort. We weren’t perfect by any means, but the effort was outstanding. If we can learn to play with that intensity and play with that emotion, we’ve got a chance to get better.”
The Gents return to action on Friday when they entertain Class 4A Teurlings.