How does an opposing defense stop, or for that matter slow down, the Crowley Gents’ high-powered offense?
No. 5 ranked Crowley (4-0) enters Friday night’s final nondistrict game against DeQuincy averaging an astounding 37 points and 472 all-purpose yards per game. The Gents manage to accomplish this with one of Acadiana’s most balanced and experienced offensive attacks.
“If somebody wants to take something away we are pretty confident of doing something else, whether that is throwing or running,” Crowley fourth-year coach Josh Fontentot said. “It helps us with game-planning because if a defense shows us a certain scheme we know we have the guys to take advantage.”
For example, let’s say the defense decides to stack the box to slow down senior running back and college prospect Ty’Von Griffin, who has rushed for 553 yards, averaged 7.4 yards per carry and 12 rushing touchdowns.
That seems to be a sound approach but there is only one problem, Crowley has an experienced quarterback and explosive group of receivers, which enables the team to run sets out of the spread, veer and power I formations.
Three-year starter Pate Broussard has thrown for 950 yards, completed 60 percent of his passes, has a touchdown to interception ratio of 7-0 and a quarterback rating of 127.6.
“We always try to find a way to run the ball,” said Fontenot, whose team opens District 3-4A play next Friday at home against DeRidder. “I feel that you have to run the ball to win important games, but Pate can handle a lot more than any quarterback that I have ever been around. With Pate under center, we feel comfortable throwing the ball to any of those five guys that we rotate in and out at wide receiver.”
That rotation includes the senior wide receiver trio of Terrell Thomas (14-187-2 TD), Maikel Hebert (12-183-TD) and Jacq’co Price (12-225-TD), senior tight end John Marceaux (4-154-2 TD) and junior wide receiver Xavier Johnson (7-171-TD).
“I think what makes us so good right now is that we have so many different options,” said Broussard, who is receiving interest from Division III program Louisiana College. “We’re not restricted to doing one thing on offense. We have multiple pieces we can do to get the job done.”
For the 6-0, 215-pound Griffin, who has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in three games this season, he gives much of the offense’s credit to the guys lining up in front of him.
“It all starts with our offensive line,” Griffin said. “Without them, I don’t know what we would be on offense.”
Griffin is getting noticed by colleges like Louisiana-Lafayette for his strong-running ability and vision. But it is his performance at doing something that doesn’t show up in the box score that has impressed his quarterback and coach.
“Not only is he a really good runner, but he is a good pass protector,” Broussard said. “When he’s not getting big chunks of yardage or scoring touchdowns for us, he’s back there protecting us.”
Added Fontenot, “He’s worked on that a lot. He played fullback for us as a sophomore, and he moved over to tailback last year. He wasn’t great at pass blocking, but he wasn’t bad either. He really cranked it up this summer.
“To be honest with you, all these guys cranked it up this summer, and that’s why we are where we are at right now.”