Griffin, Gents shine in spring game

CROWLEY –  Heading into Tuesday’s spring football game against Cecilia, Crowley High coach Josh Fontenot was simply looking for some “positives” heading into summer workouts.

He got exactly that as the young Gents exceeded his expectations in every phase of the game.

“I’m very happy with our performance today,” said Fontenot, whose team won just two games during the 2012 prep season. “We needed to do some things to give us some confidence coming out of last year and we needed to do some things because we have so many young faces.

“Today, we had six ninth graders (sophomore this fall) starting on offense.”

Offensively, it was one of those six newcomers who gave the Gents a spark.

Running back Ty’von Griffin, a 15-year-old, excited the crowd and his team by rushing for 156 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in a scrimmage that consisted of two 15-play series with the first-team units, two 12-play series with the second-team units and a 12-minute live quarter.

“Ty’von has a very bright future,” said Fontenot, who pointed out that Griffin sat out most of the spring workouts due to an ankle injury.

“Yesterday was really the first day he (Griffin) practiced in a week because of a sprained ankle, but we wanted him to play tonight because we’re getting back under center and we’re running a little more veer.”

Fontenot said Griffin has the tools to become an outstanding running back.

 “He’s just 15, he’s a big, strong kid and he obviously has some speed to him,” said the CHS coach.

 “(But) he’s got to work on all the things that freshmen have to work on and he will get better.”

Griffin scored on a 1-yard run during the Gents’ second offensive series and he later broke loose on a 70-yard touchdown run in the live quarter.

And as impressive as he was, he wasn’t the only Gent raising a few eyebrows.

Sophomore running back Chris Lewis also shared the spotlight, bouncing back from two early fumbles and finishing the day with 87 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

“Chris is Chris and he runs very hard,” said Fontenot of Lewis. “He is very athletic and he actually catches the ball really well out of the backfield. We just have to eliminate the turnovers.”

Sophomore-to-be quarterback Pate Broussard, meanwhile, showed poise and put up good numbers passing despite suffering two interceptions.

He connected with five different receivers on the night and finished with seven completions for 107 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown strike to Terrell Thomas.

“Pate had a pretty good day,” said Fontenot. “He threw two interceptions, but I can live with that because that can be fixed.”

Fontenot was equally pleased with his first-team defense, which gave up two scores during the 15-play series and one in the live quarter.

There were glitches, however.

Cecilia freshman running back Raymond Calais III caused a pair of them, breaking loose on a 53-yard burst in the Bulldogs’ first offensive series and doing so again (75 yards) on a touchdown run in the live quarter.

The state 4A 200-meter runnerup (21.89 seconds) finished with 178 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries . One-hundred, twenty eight of that was on his two long carries.

“We started out a little bit slow and we gave up a big play, which is something that we can’t have,” said Fontenot. “But we were much improved.

“They (CHS players) were excited, they flew around and they made some big plays. They made some big hits and they played with emotion and that’s all things we felt we needed to do.”

That was particularly true in the second series.

The Gents’ defense came alive during that segment, stuffing the Bulldogs for just 12 total yards. In the series, the Gents racked up five sacks. Jerry Dragin logged two of those sacks while Jacob Doucet, Curtis Broxton and JaJuan Delco each had one.

Dragin also had a fumble recovery during the live quarter; Ryan Girard had a tackle for a loss on third down and Cord Garret had a sack.

Overall, the Gents racked up 505 total yards of offense on the day and had 19 first downs. The Gents’ defense limited Cecilia to 353 yards and 16 first downs.

On the ground, Griffin and Lewis were followed by Jacquo Price, with six carries for 42 yards and a touchdown and Curtis Broxton, with three carries for 23 yards. Jarvis Harmon added six carries for 23 yards and Broussard picked up five yards on six carries.

Harmon also had one reception for 52 yards and Thomas Cavell hauled in one pass for 40 yards. Thomas added three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown; Griffin had one catch for 16 yards, Zack Breaux had a 10-yard reception, Dregin had one for eight and Lewis had one for four yards.

Price was under center during second-team drills and completed two passes for 62 yards. 

Fontenot, whose team opens the regular season at home on  Sept. 6 against Sarah Reed, said the Gents still have much to correct and much to work on over the summer.

“We turned the ball over too much today, but you expect that out of young kids,” said Fontenot. “We’re still not as physical on the offensive line as we need to be, but we’ve gotten better. Everything was much improved.

“Overall, I’m very pleased though. I can’t be dissatisfied with what I saw today.”

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