Crowley thumps Beau Chene in 4-4A opener
Big plays hadn’t exactly been a strength of the Crowley Gents through the first three games of the 2013 season.
Just the opposite, in fact.
But that all changed Friday.
The Gents, who had given up more than their share of big plays to opponents, especially a week earlier in their only loss, finally had some game-breaking plays of their own, scoring four times on plays of 30 yards or better in cruising past the visiting Beau Chene Gators, 46-19, in their 4-4A district opener at Gardiner Memorial Stadium.
The victory sends the Gents to 3-1 on the season a 1-0 in league play.
“Tonight, we finally got some big ones on our side,” said CHS coach Josh Fontenot after the contest.
The Gents’ big-play capability was evident early when running back Ty’Von Griffin took an option pitch from quarterback Pate Broussard and raced 44 yards for a touchdown just three plays into their first offensive possession.
Broussard went to the air for the next scoring strike and hit Terrell Thomas on a 49-yard touchdown bomb some five minutes later.
Griffin added another 30-yard touchdown burst midway through the second quarter and the Gents ended the half with a 32-yard touchdown strike from Broussard to Thomas Cavell just before the intermission.
Griffin, who sat out the entire fourth quarter, finished the night with 183 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries.
Broussard also had a huge night. He completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 222 yards and two touchdowns while also sitting out the final frame.
“Griff was pretty good tonight,” said Fontenot. “And Pate, he was pretty good, too.”
Broussard’s performance was his best of the season thus far and Fontenot sees steady improvement from the young signal caller.
“Right now, I’m at the point where I’ll call anything and I don’t mind calling anything,” said Fonenot of his confidence in Broussard. “That touchdown to Cavell was improvised off of a main route. We said right there on the sideline, ‘hey, why don’t you do this’ and he did it and Pate picked it up, Thomas picked it up and boom!
“When you can start doing things like that, that’s a sign of a kid who has matured pretty quickly and I’m very proud of him.”
There were, however, a few negatives to the first half that saw the Gents take a 26-12 advantage.
Broussard was pressured deep in Crowley territory and threw across his body to Thomas but Beau Chene’s Konnor Darbone stepped in front of the pass, picked it off and raced 11 yards for a touchdown.
Then, with the Gents driving on their next series, a wide pitch on an option play to Griffin was fumbled and the Gators pounced on the ball at their own 27 yard line to thwart a potential scoring drive.
“At times, I was angry during the game,” said Fontenot. “I mean, it was like we wanted to let them hang around. A pick six and a fumble....that’s the things that are kind of standing out to me right now.
“I mean, we beat a team 46-19 and I am happy about that, but I want us to get past this. It’s still the same thing - turnovers and big plays - that keep being our Achilles heel and we need to correct that.”
The Gents put the nail in the coffin early in the second half when they scored on a 9-play, 65-yard drive to start the third quarter. Griffin carried the load, literally, by rushing eight times during the series, including the final touch that resulted in a one-yard touchdown.
“Our guys know that we’re moving the ball and kind of dominating it and it’s easy to kind of go to sleep there and let off a little bit but we didn’t,” said Fontenot. “We came out and finished the game.
“We have some goals for each game and one of them is to score on our first offensive possession each half because that sets the tone for how you are going to perform. We stress that a lot and tonight was the first time that we came through with that.”
The Gents defense came through on the Gators’ ensuing drive and forced a fumble that was recovered by C.J. Douresseaux.
It took the Gents’ offense just over a minute to capitalize.
On the first play, Broussard hooked up with Cavell on a 36-yard strike and then the sophomore quarterback picked up 11 more yards on a keeper around the edge. Two plays later, Curtis Broxton, filling in for Griffin, scored from one-yard out.
The Gators answered, however, on their ensuing drive, thanks mainly to quarterback John Livings. The senior broke a 58-yard run to get deep into CHS territory and he then scored on an eight-yard run to cut the lead to 39-19 with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Jacq’Co Price took over at quarterback for Broussard on the Gents’ next series and the sophomore broke loose for a 16-yard run and completed two passes, including a 26-yard strike to Zack Breaux. Broxton capped the seven-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run.”
“Jacq’Co came in there and really did a good job of running the offense,” said Fontenot. “That just kind of shows you what you have. You never want to see anyone get injured, but it’s nice to know that we have someone like that if Pate every does go down.”
In all, the Gents racked up 484 yards of total offense and 20 first downs.
Beau Chene picked up 267 yards and 13 first downs.
Griffin led all rushers with his 183-yard performance while Cody Williams paced the Gators with 93 yards on 21 carries.
Cavell was the top receiver on the night with eight catches for 111 yards while Terrell Thomas had two receptions for 79 yards.
Overall, Fontenot was more than pleased with what he saw out of his team, which was leaps and bounds better than the previous week’s performance.
“Looking at it, we’re 3-1 and we have gotten over that two-win hump,” said Fontenot, whose 2012 team picked up just two victories. “I feel good about our team, I really do. The reason I was so angry last week and we pressed so much this week is because, potentially, I think we have a very good football team. And we’re going to keep pushing them pushing them towards that.
“We’re working towards it and we’re getting there, we just have to eliminate some errors and I think we’ll be alright.”