Crowley cruises past Madison
CROWLEY – The Crowley Gents completed one of the most impressive regular-season turnarounds in school history Friday night.
It wasn’t a worst-to-first improvement... but it was close.
The Gents, just 2-8 in 2012, defeated Madison, 56-14, in their regular-season finale at Gardiner Memorial Stadium to finish 7-3 overall. In addition, their 4-2 mark in District 4-4A left them in second place in the league, one game out of first, and assured them of a state playoff berth.
“Man, I’m just extremely proud of our team,” said CHS coach Josh Fontenot after the victory. “If someone would have told me at the beginning of the year that we would end up 7-3 and have a chance to host a playoff game...and oh, by the way you’re going to have five seniors that are going to have season-ending injuries and two other starters will be out, I would have signed that contract real quick.
“It’s a testament to the boys; they are very resilient and they played hard all year. You know, you come off a 2-8 season and there’s a lot of doubts. But our coaching staff stayed with what we were doing and the kids believed in what we were doing; they never doubted anything and they have earned everything they have gotten this year.”
The Gents, who are hoping for a home playoff game when pairings and seedings are announced today, set the tempo early and they did so on defense after the Jaguars started out at their own 32 on their first series of the game.
Following an offensive pass interference call and a two-yard loss on a run play, linebacker Jacob Doucet flushed quarterback Jarvis Williams from the pocket and nearly recorded a sack in the end zone. Instead, Williams attempted a pass, only to be whistled for intentional grounding and resulting in a safety.
The Gents tacked on a touchdown just over a minute later when running back Ty’Von Griffin burst through the line, shrugged off three defenders and rambled 23 yards to the end zone.
But that was just the beginning - for Griffin and the Gents.
The sophomore added a 57-yard touchdown reception on the Gents’ next possession and he had another highlight reel run later in the half, breaking loose for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Griffin finished the night with six carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 57 yards and one touchdown receiving.
“To get off to a quick start like that was big,” said Fontenot. “And Griff, he kind of showed us what he was made of tonight. We’ve seen it all year, but, tonight, I think we saw some glimpses of something very, very special.”
Chris Lewis also added a pair of touchdowns in the first half from one and two yards out, respectively. Lewis finished with 12 carries for 46 yards and had one reception for 17 yards.
Jerry Dregin had the only other touchdown of the first half when he hauled in a 14-yard pass from Pate Broussard in the corner of the end zone.
Broussard connected on four of six pass attempts for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He also hit Terrell Thomas once for 17 yards.
The Jaguars posted two touchdowns in the first 24 minutes but both of those scores were aided by Crowley mistakes.
The Jaguars caught their first break on a fourth-and-long situation when a Gent was flagged for running into the kicker on a punt. A short run by quarterback Jarvis Williams produced a fresh set of downs and eventually led to a 26-yard touchdown run by Robert Brown.
Later in the half, a pair of unsportsman like conduct penalties on the Gents kept another Jaguar drive alive and resulted in a 5-yard touchdown run by Camerio Powell.
Powell paced the Jaguars with 10 carries for 65 yards.
“We went to sleep a little bit there and were kind of just running around doing our own thing,” said Fontenot. “They (Madison) have some good athletes and you can’t afford to make mistakes like we did. We had two personal fouls that were not smart at all. You can’t do that. We’re better than that. Those things can get you beat.”
Fortunately, following a conversation between defensive coordinator Jeptha Wall and his unit, Crowley’s defense came to life.
The Gents held the Jaguars to just nine yards and no first downs in the second half.
“That’s a defense that respects the heck out of their defensive coordinator and whenever he put his foot down and told them it’s time to start playing, they very much responded and did that,” said Fontenot. “Nobody has had more injuries than coach Wall’s group and he’s had to adjust things and he and his staff have done awesome. That’s credit to them. I don’t do anything with the defense.”
With a more than comfortable 43-14 lead at the half, Fontenot elected to get his reserves on the field to start the second half, sidelining Broussard, Griffin, Lewis and wideout Terrell Thomas.
Backup quarterback Jacq’Co Price, who is a starting wide receiver, added to the Gents’ lead with an 11-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter. Freshman Cardracus George added the finishing touches in the fourth quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run.
“We wanted to jump out quick tonight to make sure that we could reward some kids that have played scout team for us all year and let them get some Friday Night action,” said Fontenot, who played most of the second half with a full reserve unit on both sides of the ball. “Jayvee is over now and I wanted to let them play a little on Friday night and we did. It was a good night.”