Gents spoil Rayne's Homecoming
BY CHRIS QUEBEDEAUX
RAYNE – Now, that’s more like it!
After showing steady but sporadic improvement since the opening week of the 2009 season, the Crowley High Gents Friday finally put together the complete-game effort CHS coach Tommy Tate had desperately been looking for.
And they did it impressively.
The Gents, who had played well only in spurts during the first four games, put up 296 yards of total offense, held Rayne to just four first downs and 158 yards and put on a special teams’ clinic to defeat the Wolves, 38-7.
The CHS victory lifted the Gents to 4-1 heading into next Friday’s District 4-AAA opener while putting a damper on the Wolves’ Homecoming festivities.
“All season long, we really hadn’t put four quarters of ball together,” said Tate. “It’s always been a lot to fix in the kicking game, a lot to fix offensively and defensively... We’ve had our moments. But tonight, we got great effort for four quarters. We weren’t perfect by any means, but we got great effort from start to finish.”
Although perfection wasn’t achieved, the Gents came pretty close in their passing attack. CHS quarterback D’Myrus Daniels completed 11 of his 14 pass attempts for 140 yards and two touchdowns. His first was a 33-yard scoring strike to Donavon Morris that put the Gents up 7-0 with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter after a Nick Hoffpauir PAT.
Crowley added to its lead early in the second quarter following a 24-yard punt return by Troy Wilridge. Daniels aided the drive when he broke free for a 31-yard run before Tonori Boutte hit paydirt from two yards out. Hoffpauir’s PAT pushed the Gents’ advantage to 14-0 with 9:43 left in the half.
Then, following a Rayne fumble deep in Wolf territory, Daniels connected with Boutte on a screen pass that went for a 12-yard touchdown to increase the Gents lead to 21-0.
In all, Daniels connected with six receivers on the night.
“We have to be able to spread the ball offensively and we did a good job of that tonight,” said Tate. “But there’s still room for improvement. For us to be the team we want to be, we have to improve a whole lot offensively as far as spreading the ball and getting some people a lot of touches.”
Rayne answered back with just over two minutes remaining. RHS quarterback Tyler Venable completed a seven yard pass to Brody Bourque and then a 57 yarder to Trey Leon before scoring himself on a 5-yard run.
Crowley regained the momentum in the second half, mounting an eight-play, 60-yard drive that was capped by a 22-yard touchdown run by Daniels, who dragged two RHS defenders with him into the end zone.
“D’Myrus is a big, strong kid and he had a heck of a game,” said Tate of his quarterback, who also led the team in rushing with nine carries for 74 yards. “He was really physical and really tough and that’s what you like to see out of your quarterback. The offense feeds off that. If they see the quarterback playing that tough, they are going to lay it on the line for him.”
Hoffpauir, who also had five carries for 19 yards while at fullback, put the Gents up 31-7 with 3:34 left in the third quarter when he drilled a 22-yard field goal after a muffed punt return by Rayne. Hoffpauir also converted on four PATs and Blaze Nepeaux had one.
Rayne drove down deep into Crowley territory midway through the fourth quarter but the drive was thwarted when Troy Wilridge picked off a Venable pass at the CHS 9-yard line.
Wilridge wasn’t done yet though.
Rayne’s last attempt to get in scoring range with 24 seconds remaining proved costly when Wilridge picked off his second pass - at the RHS 48-yard line - eluded tacklers and raced in for the final score of the game.
“That was an unbelievable return,” said Tate of Wilridge’s second interception. “The pick was great, but the return was even better. He is a young man with a lot of talent and when he has his hands on the ball, he’s dangerous.”
Wilridge also had an 83-yard kickoff return for an apparent touchdown at the end of the first half, but it was negated by a holding penalty.
Overall, the Gents’ defense played the best it has all season, giving up just 41 yards rushing and 117 through the air.
“Our defense did a heck of a job, especially in the second half,” said Tate, whose defensive unit yielded just 46 yards in the final 24 minutes. “You try to take away what a team does the best and what they do the best is rush the football. They had a little bit of success throwing the football down the field but we made some big plays.”
Offensively, the Gents racked up 156 yards rushing. Daniels led the charge with 74 on nine carries while Boutte collected 36 on 17 carries.
Morris led all receivers with five catches for 96 yards. Boutte hauled in two passes for 22 yards and Kristian Allen had two for 11. Kyle Daigle and Dorris Senegal each had one reception for eight and three yards respectively.
Bourque did most of the damage for Rayne, rushing eight times for 26 yards. He also had five receptions for 55 yards.
Venable completed seven passes for 117 yards.
The v ictory puts the Gents in great position heading into district play next week when they travel to Iowa for their 4-AAA opener.
“This is what you want to go into district play with,” said Tate of the victory. “You get a little a little momentum, but again, you have to start on the road against an Iowa team that has given us a little trouble in the past. We are going to have to really prepare well and play our best next week.”