The past few years, nose tackle Darius Gordon and defensive tackle Chris Broussard have provided a push up the middle for the Cecilia’s defense.
When Kale Boudreaux and new starter Braylon Daigle expanded that pressure point, opposing quarterbacks have seen their escape options narrowed this season.
Cecilia (2-0) heads into a Friday game against Crowley (2-0) coming off a seven-sack performance in a Week 2 win over Northside. That total included four sacks by sophomore linebacker Ryan Malbrough.
“We sent more linebackers,” Cecilia coach Terry Martin said. “Ryan Malbrough has really started to play well. Darius Gordon and Chris Broussard come off the ball well. They use their hands well, and they can flush the quarterback (out of the pocket).”
The difference-maker for the Bulldogs in a season-opening burst that has seen them hold Comeaux and Northside to a total of six points has been the collective performance of defensive ends Boudreaux and Daigle.
“They are playing well and they can run from sideline to sideline,” Martin said. “Boudreaux started last year, and Daigle is a new starter. He (Daigle) is smaller, but he runs well.”
The Bulldogs offense has chipped in some lengthy scoring drives to help keep their teammates fresh in the quest to apply pressure and pile up sacks. Against Northside, a balanced offensive attack by the Bulldogs included 129 yards and a pair of scores from running back Raymond Calais and a 6-of-11 effort for 178 yards and three touchdowns by quarterback Landon Roberts. “A lot of people say they want to wear those big guys out inside (on our defense),” Martin said. “But when we can sustain drives, it helps.”
The Bulldogs have turned their attention to Crowley, which scored 31 and 34 points, in wins over Iowa and Westlake. Martin expects that the back end of the Bulldogs defense will have to heed the upcoming warning signals from a Gents squad that has a variety of ways to move the ball.
“(The Gents) are so experienced and have so many weapons,” Martin said. “Our defensive backs have to be aware and be more pass-oriented this week.”
That Crowley offense includes quarterback Pate Broussard, a three-year starter, and running back Ty’Von Griffin, who accounted for nearly 1,700 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior last season.
“Our front seven has to play the run well so those defensive backs can stay back,” Martin said. “Crowley runs multiple formations, and they do a great job with schemes. Having those multiple formations, they want you thinking a little too much.”
The Bulldogs have seen those challenges in a more basic format the past few springs when Cecilia and Crowley have met in spring scrimmages.
But it will be a different exam for Martin’s squad this go around.
“Since (coach) Josh Fontenot has been there, (the Gents) have been good on offense,” Martin said. “They have improved on defense, and now they are more able to play man-to-man defense. They can put more pressure on you now.”