Crowley holds off Peabody
CROWLEY – The Crowley Gents were in need of some big plays Friday in their Class 4A first-round playoff game against the Peabody Warhorses.
They got exactly that, especially late in the game from senior cornerback Bryston Domino.
The Warhorses trailed by just a touchdown after scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns and they had momentum on their side after forcing the Gents to punt with just over two minutes remaining in the contest.
That’s when Domino stepped in for possibly the biggest play of the season for the Gents.
Peabody quarterback Sadrick Kirklin heaved a long pass to Josh Gaston, but Domino outjumped the wideout and came down with an interception that allowed the Gents to run out the clock and hold on for a 20-13 victory.
The Gents will now travel to New Orleans on Thursday where they will take on No. 2 seed Edna Karr.
“For him to come up with a big play in a big game like that, man I’m proud of him,” said Crowley High coach Josh Fontenot of Domino, who had one of two interceptions on the night. Curtis Broxton had the other.
Domino had to fend off the receiver who attempted to steal the ball away as the two went to the ground after the interception.
“When I saw the ball in the air, I just made a play on it,” said Domino. “He tried to get sneaky and take it away from me.”
The Gents’ defense was dominant early on in the contest and limited the Warhorses to just 78 yards and six first downs heading into the final quarter of play.
“We’ve been waiting for out defense to do that, and at times we’ve shown that but we haven’t shown it for a whole game,” said Fontenot of his defensive play. “Tonight, I think we showed it for a whole game.”
The two touchdowns by Peabody in the fourth quarter were set up after the Gents was forced to punt from deep in their own territory. The Warhorses first scoring drive started from the CHS 39 after a short punt and the second came minutes later after the Gent failed to convert on a third-and-long at their own 37.
“The touchdowns we gave up, we gave them somewhat of a short field,” said Fontenot. “That’s on our offense. We needed to get some first downs and get them out of that hole. Offensively, we didn’t help them at all, but our defense was phenomenal tonight.”
Offensively, the Gents managed to rack up 311 total yards and 17 first downs, but they struggled in the first half to put points on the board.
Ty’Von Griffin scored from one yard out early in the second quarter and Andrew Simon’s extra point put the Gents up 7-0.
But the Gents missed out on a pair of potential scoring opportunities before the break when they turned the ball over on downs at the Peabody 20-yard line on a failed fourth down conversion and then an interception thwarted another possible threat at the PHS 28.
“We haven’t been bad on offense in a while and tonight, we were bad on offense in the first half,” said Fontenot. “They (Peabody) were doing some things to kind of take away our run game and they did a good job of it. And we’re weren’t completing enough passes consistently to put up some big numbers. But we were able to squeak out some points and our defense did a good job of holding them in the first half.”
The third quarter was a different story for the Gents, who posted two more touchdowns in the first 10 minutes of the half.
The Gents forced Peabody to go three-and-out on their first series of the second half and took over at the Peabody 35 following a punt that hit a Warhorse player and bounced back 15 yards before being downed.
Griffin carried six times on the drive and picked up four yards on his final carry to give the Gents a fourth-and-short situation from the 2-yard line. Fontenot elected to go for it instead of attempting a field goal and Chris Lewis leaped over a pile of players for the touchdown.
The Gents were forced to punt on their next possession and Andrew Simon pinned the Warhorses back at their 3-yard line with a 46-yard punt. Two plays later, CHS safety Alex Ashby recovered a fumble and the Gents were in business again.
The Gents took over at the Peabody 22 and Griffin took three straight handoffs to set up a first-and-goal from the 10. Lewis got the call again on the next play and raced around the end for another touchdown.
“We just kind of woke up in the third quarter,” said Fontenot. “We just came out in the second half and the offense kind of toughened up a little bit. Like I said before, it wasn’t our best performance, but we moved the ball well enough on offense and played well enough on special teams to help our defense out and win the game.”
Offensively, the Gents picked up 182 yards on the ground behind Griffin and Lewis. Griffin racked up 99 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries while Lewis had 78 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Broxton also had one touch for seven yards while quarterback Pate Broussard lost two yards on five carries.
“We have our plan coming in, but it’s not saying that we’re going to run Griff or we’re going to run Chris, it’s more of what are you going to give us,” said Fontenot. “They were trying to key on Griff because on the plays that he’s good at, if you don’t stop him, he’s going to hurt you. He still did a good job and then they gave us an opportunity for Chris to run a little bit and he did a good job.”
Broussard also had another solid performance through the air. He completed 12 of 22 pass attempts for 129 yards. Terrell Thomas was his main target with four receptions for 44 yards while Griffin had two catches for 31. Jerry Dregin hauled in three passes for 22 yards while Lewis and Jacq’Co Price each picked up 16 yards on one and two receptions, respectively.
Peabody did most of its damage through the air, picking up 164 of their 214 total offensive yards on the arm of Eriel Dorsey and Kirklin. Dosey completed 13 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns while Kirklin competed two passes for seven yards.
Kirklin’s brother, Contarious, had four receptions for 85 yards and both touchdowns. Ashton Vanzant added two catches for 31 yards and Josh Gaston had two catches for 28 yards.
Dorsey also led the Warhorses on the ground with eight carries for 26 yards.
The Gents now turn their attention to Edna Karr, the defending Class 4A state champion. But first, they will enjoy their first playoff victory in the last three years.
“We’re one of 16 teams left playing in (Class 4A) football,” said Fontenot. “From 2-8 to being in the second round of the playoffs, how can I not just be thrille?. This was a big win for our younger kids, but it was huge for our seniors who have been through that 2-8 season and stuck with it.
“Yeah, we know we have an uphill climb next week, but we’ll worry about that tomorrow. Tonight, we’re going to enjoy this.”