CROWLEY —Crowley coach Josh Fontenot said the key to much of the Gents’ 12-0 start to this season was coming out with plenty of intensity.
“What we have gotten people with a lot was our intensity and playing with more energy than them,” Fontenot said. “That happened to us tonight.”
Or, more precisely, the other team was far more intense.
Franklinton scored 34 points in the second quarter to take control in a 56-14 shocker, sending the Demons to the Class 4A semifinals.
The Gents were held to just 148 yards of total offense — 68 of which came on a touchdown run in mop-up time by Ty’Von Griffin.
Griffin rushed 12 times for 124 yards but was silenced for the majority of the game.
Franklinton coach Shane Smith said shutting him down was the key.
“We knew (Crowley) would rely on (Griffin),” Smith said. “He’s a great back and he’s had a great season. We knew if we could take him away, (Crowley backup quarterback Paul Dugar) would have to beat us. That is what we tried to do and it worked to our advantage.”
Dugar, starting in place of the injured Pate Broussard, had very little success through the air, going 3-for-12 for 18 yards and two interceptions. Smith said his team prepared for Dugar all week.
“We knew it was a good chance we would see Dugar,” Smith said. “We prepared for both and we came out and played well.”
Smith said coming into the game, he thought the Demons were a little better on the offensive and defensive lines.
Franklinton proved it, rushing for 315 yards and six touchdowns.
“Normally, when you take care of business on the line, you have success,” Smith said. “We did that tonight.”
Fontenot said by the time Crowley began to match the Franklinton’s intensity, the game was out of reach. He said he was not down on his team and said there is nothing for the Gants to be ashamed of.
“One night does not define this football team,” Fontenot said. “To lose to Franklinton is nothing to be ashamed of. I am more proud of what we did this year instead of dwelling on this loss. I’m going over there and hug these seniors who gave everything they had to get here and focus more on the 12 (wins) than the one (loss).”
As for Franklinton — which had reached the quarterfinals the past three years — getting over this hump was thrilling, Smith said.
“We have had some tough losses in the playoffs the last three years,” Smith said. “I feel like this was our best game of the season, and we are playing our best football right now. We just have to continue to learn, grow and get better every day.”