A light rainfall turned into a heavy downpour shortly after the start of the contest, but after a nearly 1 1/2- hour delay, play resumed and the two teams were finally able to wrap up the workout around 9:30 p.m.
“It wasn’t smooth at all because of the weather,” said CHS coach Josh Fontenot. “But we tried to take advantage of that and make it a situation that our kids need to overcome. Those things happen and you are going to have rain delays.”
The stoppage of play occurred shortly after Beau Chene wrapped up its first offensive series.
At the time, it looked as if the break came at a good time- the Gents had just given up an 70-yard touchdown on the very first play.
Beau Chene running back Jamal Chevis took the handoff on the first play and appeared to be bottled up in the middle of the field. However, he broke free and raced to the near sideline, where he looked to be stopped once more.
The shifty back reversed field again, hit the far sideline and outran the CHS defenders to the end zone.
“The kid made an ESPN highlight reel run,” said Fontenot of Chevis’ run. “To his credit, it was a beautiful run. But that’s where our glaring error comes in - missed tackles. We had three kids hit him initially and we couldn’t bring him down.”
The Gents buckled down after that and aside from another big run - 40 yards - by Chevis, the Gents shut down the Gators running game. Six of their final 11 runs during the series went for negative yards.
“After that first run, we really didn’t give up much,” said Fontenot. “We gave up one more big play on that series but before you know it, we had backed them up 25 yards.
“What I was really proud of was, we give up the big play right off the back and then we play 14 plays of pretty good football.”
Crowley took over offensively and after one first down, the game was halted with the Gents facing a third down from their own 45.
However, the delay didn’t seem to bother the Gents. They came out of the locker room and responded with a big play of their own.
Quarterback Andre Mills connected with Thomas Cavell over the middle for a 55-yard scoring strike to even things up.
“I thought it was necessary to come out and get going right away,” said Fontenot. “We had missed that play on the previous set of downs so we went back to it and it worked.
“But I felt we had to go after it right there. We have to have that mentality. If I don’t call plays to allow them to get that, then it’s hard for me to ask them to do that.”
Both teams had opportunities on their second offensive series but neither was able to put any points on the board.
The Gents mounted a 10-play drive that saw them reach the BC 10-yard line before a penalty and a sack forced them to turn the ball over on downs.
The Gents had two more series on offense, but four dropped passes thwarted any potential scoring threats.
“We started dropping the ball,” said Fontenot. “For our offense to work fully, we have to hit our vertical game up the middle. We dropped one that probably would have went for a touchdown and another one would have definitely went for a first down. That’s something that we have to fix. We won’t be successful this year if we can’t convert those chances.”
Beau Chene netted 44 yards on its first four runs of its final offensive possession and looked as if they were going to march into the end zone.
But once again, the Gents defense stepped up.
Crowley hit the Gators for four straight losses after that to end the threat.
The two teams wrapped up the scrimmage with an overtime drill.
The Gents struck on the very first play when Mills scored from 10 yards out.
“That was a zone read play with Andre (Mills) and Danny (Malbrough),” said Fontenot. “Andre did a great job. He rolled it on time, made the pull and scored. In overtime, that’s what you want.
“We needed to end like that offensively because the series before that, we didn’t end well.”
Beau Chene answered through.
Facing fourth-and- goal from the 14, Chevis got the call again and weaved his way in for the score.
“What can I say, the kid is good,” said Fontenot of Chevis. “He made four people miss and he was in the end zone.”
Overall, Fontenot left the scrimmage with mixed emotions.
“I wanted to see how we would play as a group,” he said. “That was the biggest thing I was looking for. You’re going to have miscues on offense and you’re going to have miscues on defense. And we did. And we also had some very good plays on both sides of the football.
“But the thing I was most pleased with was the way that the kids played with energy and intensity and together. I saw them start to take a step forward and come together. I was pleased with that.”
The Gents will be in action again on Thursday when they take on Rayne at 6:30 p.m. in the first game of the Acadia Parish Jamboree in Iota.