Gents open 5-3A play at Eunice
There is no rest for Jeptha Wall and the Crowley Gents.
A week after a thrilling come-from-behind win over Cecilia, the Gents are faced with yet another rival in their 5-3A district opener this evening.
The Gents open league play at long-time nemesis Eunice this evening. Kickoff is staled for 7 o’clock.
“This is a big one,” said CHS coach Jeptha Wall, whose team is currently 2-1. “You get the big doozy right off the bat with Eunice, who is probably the pre-district favorite coming in.
“They have some good athletes across the board. They are at home and they are hungry to prove themselves; so we are definitely not taking this one lightly.”
That hunger comes from back-to-back losses to Jennings and Rayne where the Bobcats were pretty much shut down offensively.
Against Rayne last week, Eunice was held to just 55 rushing yards and one touchdown in a 42-10 loss.
Things weren’t much better for the Bobcats a week prior when they had just 62 rushing yards and one touchdown in a 26-10 loss at Jennings.
“They are 1-2, but those two losses were to good football teams,” said Wall. “Jennings is solid and the running back they have now might be better than the one that graduated.
“And Rayne is very good: They have three really good backs.”
Offensively, everything begins with quarterback Jaden Brasseaux for the Bobcats and their Wing-T offense.
Brasseaux, a senior, is 31-for-50 with 332 yards and a touchdown through the air and he has a pair of standout receivers in Jordan Ledet and Josh Youngblood.
“Their quarterback is pretty good. I mean anytime you complete 60 percent of your passes, that’s pretty good,” said Wall. “And they have two pretty good receivers. Youngblood is pretty good, but the Ledet kid is the main target. He’s long and pretty and has great hands.”
When the Bobcats keep the ball on the ground, Avery Lee will likely have it in his hands.
Lee, a junior, rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns in the Bobcats’ season-opening victory over Opelousas (24-0) but he was limited in the two losses. He had just 95 yards on 27 carries in those two games.
Lee also has six receptions for 38 yards out of the backfield.
“A lot of times, we do struggle playing against Wing-T teams and here we go again,” said Wall. “They haven’t really changed what they do in 20-plus years. They are going to run some Wing-T stuff and they are going to spreed out and throw it when they need to; kind of mix it up on you and keep you guessing.
“The big thing for us is to try and limit Ledet and Lee. Ledet had two big catches against us last year even though we were draped all over him and Lee is a really good athlete as well.”
Avery was limited to just 15 carries and 45 yards last week against Rayne , but he was sidelined later in the contest due to an injury.
“He had a high ankle sprain so when the wheels kind of flew off against Rayne, they got him out of there to kind of save his legs,” said Wall of Lee. “So we’ll probably see a better version of him this week than we saw on film.”
The Gents will counter with an offense that posted 335 total yards in their 28-25 victory over Cecilia last week.
Senior quarterback Paul Dugar completed six of 11 pass attempts for 101 yards and a touchdown in that game before being sidelined with an injury.
Sophomore Marquis Garrett took over in the second half and also completed six passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.
As of Thursday, Wall was unsure of who his starting quarterback will be against the Bobcats.
“Paul has some hamstring issues so we’ve been resting him and he will be a game-time decision,” said Wall. “If we have to rest him for a week, then that’s what we’re going to do.
“But Marquis is ready to go; he’s taken every rep this week and we don’t lose anything with him in there.”
One player that is out indefinitely is offensive lineman Cole Simon, who hyper extended his knee, causing a bone bruise in the Cecilia game.
Parker Nelson will move over from the defensive side and fill the void left by Simon.
“Cole being out is going to hurt us,” said Wall. “We know we have some capable backs and it’s shown that Marquis is capable of going in and doing what he needs to do. If Parker can grow up a little bit offensively, that would be a big thing. He’s played a lot of snaps on defense this year, but it’s not the same.”
The main key for the Gents defensively, according to Wall, is focus.
“Against a Wing-T team, there’s a lot of things that you’re looking at and if you get caught up watching all the motions and all the bells and whistles, you’re going to get yourself in a bad position,” said Wall. “We have to be focused and disciplined or it could be a long night.”