CARENCRO — The formula for the Carencro Bears early in the season was a heavy dose of Tyriek Campbell on the ground behind a powerful offensive line.
Campbell delivered 546 yards and six touchdowns before going down with an ankle injury two weeks ago. Campbell was out only one game, but his absence allowed quarterback Tyler Gaspard to become a bigger part of the Bears’ attack.
“A lot of times we try to control the ball and muscle behind our line,” Carencro coach Rip Eveland said. “We’ve had a few injuries, and we felt like we needed to use our athletes more. We went out in spread (against Sam Houston) and threw the ball around. We had fun.”
Gaspard threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns in Carencro’s 42-28 win over Sam Houston. Eveland said Gaspard has been in the offense for two years now and has a good grasp on managing the game.
“I think he did a really good job, and he has a really good handle of the offense,” Eveland said. “With Tyriek hurt, we need him to take over.”
Campbell did play against Sam Houston, but Eveland said he is not quite at 100 percent. He said the Bears have also suffered a few injuries along the offensive line. With Campbell in a more limited role, Eveland said the offense will rely on Gaspard to make up the difference.
“If running backs don’t feel good, they won’t play as strong,” Eveland said. “Our JV linemen aren’t quite as good. We always try to be more balanced, but it all depends on match ups mostly. We just want to do what we need to do to win each game. Sometimes we’ll air it out.”
Eveland said against Sam Houston was the first time the Bears went to the air before getting behind. He said he was pleased with how Gaspard handled the early-game pressure.
“Last week was the first time we went out there and said ‘hey, we are going to sling that baby around,’ ” Eveland said. “A lot of the times we have thrown the ball, we had to. Against St. Thomas More, we had to because we were down and trying to catch up. I think Tyler will do a good job when his number is called.”
Despite Gaspard’s success, Eveland said don’t expect a whole lot of passing against New Iberia. He said each game will dictate what the offense does and the Bears’ best chance to beat the Yellow Jackets will be to control the ball.
“New Iberia has a lot of great athletes,” Eveland said. “I don’t know if spreading it out is going to help us. I hope we can be balanced and play good defense. Most games come down to a few plays, and we just want to be the ones that make those plays.”