And he was right.
The No. 2-ranked Rebels, playing on a short field for most of the night, racked up 287 total yards of offense and got two scores from their defense en route to a commanding 38-0 victory over the Gents in what was the Rebels’ Homecoming game.
The loss sent the Gents to 1-4 on the season and extended their losing streak to four games heading into next week’s district opener at home against Iowa.
Teurlings improved to 5-0 with the victory and will entertain St. Thomas More next week to start their league slate.
“Yeah, we knew it was going to be hard,” said Fontenot of the matchup. “I mean, they are a great team. We knew it was going to be extremely difficult.
“But I asked our kids to come in here and fight and I’m so proud of them because we were outmanned in an environment that’s tough to play in and we never quit.”
There was no quit in the Gents, even after losing their head coach midway through the second quarter when Fontenot was ejected from the game after being whistled for an unsportsman like conduct penalty for having words with an official.
The ejection occurred after the Gents were flagged for a defensive holding. Crowley had five penalties for 60 yards in the first two quarters while Teurlings had just two flags called on them for 10 yards.
“As coaches, you fight for your kids,” said Fontenot. “I really didn’t think I should have gotten ejected. I never cursed once. But that’s okay. That should never happen. There’s no excuse for me being ejected.
“There’s obviously calls that you don’t agree with every game. That didn’t decide the game for us though.
“No excuses, I shouldn’t have gotten ejected, plain and simple. If I said too much, I said too much.”
Fontenot’s early departure came with his squad trailing 10-0 with just over seven minutes remaining in the first half. And coupled with the holding penalty, it gave the Rebels 25 free yards and put them in the CHS red zone.
From there, Teurlings quarterback Connor Cronin connected with Sage LeBlanc for a 20-yard reception before Blair Lormand scored from one yard out on the next play.
Teurlings’ defense dialed up the pressure on Crowley’s ensuing possession and hit the Gents for a 29-yard loss with a sack. On the play, CHS quarterback Andre Mills lost possession of the ball and J.T. Hebert scooped up the loose pigskin and ran it in for a 34-yard touchdown. Jacob Cunningham’s PAT gave the Rebels a 24-0 advantage with six minutes to go before the break.
“They have a great defense,” said Fontenot of Teurlings. “We knew we had to get rid of the ball quickly and when they were able to cover us up a little bit, we took some sacks.
“Andre is a guy that makes electrifying plays. Sometimes, those electrifying plays don’t happen and we take some sacks. The kid’s fighting so hard to make plays for his team. He’ll break four tackles but then, it’s just too many guys. I don’t fault him for that.
“Now, we have to get to a point where we’re a little smarter, but that’s a coachable thing. We can work through that.”
The Gents had two scoring opportunities in the first half but failed to convert.
Early in the game, the Gents drove down to the TCHS 25 yard line but an incompletion on third-and-long following a holding penalty turned the ball back over to the Rebels.
Then, with less than a minute to go in the half, Damon Malbrough intercepted a pass at the Teurlings 29 and returned it to the 11. However, back-to-back runs for a loss sent the Gents back to the 22-yard line as time expired.
“Things get hard for us inside the 10-yard line because of our lack of a power run game,” said Fontenot. “So we tried to throw it a couple times and then protection kind of wasn’t there.
“We kind of knew when we get inside the 10 that it was going to be tough for us to get in. We tried to bust some plays on the outside and we were close to getting there. It’s just hard and it’s even harder to get in against a team like Teurlings.”
The Gents, trailing 24-0, were looking for a spark to start the second half.
It never came.
In fact it was Teurlings that got a big push to start the second half and it came, once again, from their defense.
The Gents started the half on their own 20 and were hit for a two-yard loss right off the bat. Then, Mills was flushed out of the pocket and taken down at the eight, where the ball was jarred loose again.
This time, Teurlings’ Patrick Langlinais came up with the recovery and took it into the end zone for another defensive touchdown.
The Gents had one final opportunity to get on the board when they drove 60 yards down to the TCHS 20. But on first down, a shuffle pass from Mills to Danny Malbrough was fumbled and Teurlings recovered at their own 14.
The Rebels mounted an 11-play drive that was aided by a personal foul and an offsides penalty and scored the final touchdown of the night on a 5-yard run by Zack LaFleur.
On the night, Crowley was limited to 167 (54 rushing, 113 passing) total yards of offense and 11 first downs.
Danny Malbrough led the Gents on the ground with 15 carries for 69 yards. Chris Lewis added four carries for 26 yards but Mills and Chanz Moore combined for 17 carries for minus 41 yards.
Mills completed 10 of 15 pass attempts for 113 yards. His main target was Moore, who had five catches for 56 yards. Malbrough had two receptions for 29 yards and Thomas Cavell hauled in three passes for 28 yards.
Teurlings’ offense racked up 287 total yards and 17 first downs.
LaFleur and Lormand led the ground attack with 47 and 43 yards, respectively, while Cronin threw for 132 yards.
Sage LeBlanc was the Rebels’ leading receiver with four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the lopsided loss and the ejection, Fontenot seemed upbeat after the contest.
“There were a lot of positives that I saw tonight,” said Fontenot. “It may not look like it by the final score but this is the best our defense has played all year. We held Teurlings at some points, made them punt and we stopped them on fourth down a few times. I’m proud of my boys tonight.
“And, offensively, I’m not sure what the numbers were but we hit some passes and we popped some runs. That’s the best defensive front that we’re going to see and we did alright against them.
“You’re never pleased with a loss but I’m coming out of here proud of my team.”
For Fontenot and the Gents, the objective is to put the first half of the season behind them.
Despite being 1-4, the real season - district play - lies ahead of them and their fate is in their own hands.
“We’re about to start a district season and we plan on winning a district championship,” said Fontenot. “This part of the schedule is over with. I can’t go back and fix the last four games. We’ve got to put this behind us.
“Sunday, when we come to work, we’re starting over. We’re 0-0. We’re going to win a district championship and get into the playoffs; that’s the way we have to look at it and the approach we have to take.”