Apparently that is not the case for the Crowley Gents and Rayne Wolves.
The two teams combined for nearly 900 total yards of offense and 75 points Thursday evening in a shootout that saw the Wolves slip away with a 41-34 victory over the Gents in the opening game of the 2012 Acadia Parish Jamboree at Iota’s Bulldog Stadium.
“It’s pretty obvious what we need to fix,” said CHS coach Josh Fontenot of his defense, one that gave up 418 rushing yards in two 15-minute halves. “And it comes playing hard and nothing else. We have to play hard, it’s that simple. We did it last week and we didn’t do it this week.
“When you don’t play hard against a team like Rayne, who is a very good football team, a very good offensive football team for sure, there you go, you give up 41.”
Rayne’s wing-t offense gave Crowley fits all night long as running back Jalen Williams had his way with the Gents’ defense. Williams, a senior, made the best of his 10 carries, rushing for a game-high 217 yards and three touchdowns.
Trent Duhon also had a big night for the Wolves. He added 125 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.
“Offensively, we couldn’t have played much better than we did,” said RHS coach Curt Ware. “Jalen had a big night. He’s a good back.
“And Trent is a new starter, but he’s a really good wing-t fullback. And when you have a guy that can run inside like that, of course it helps you with Jalen and the other guys running the ball outside.”
Williams scored his first touchdown just before the half on an 89-yard run. He added two more scores in the second half on runs of 49 and 20 yards. Duhon’s touchdown was on his first carry of the game when he hit pay dirt from 21 yards out.
“We didn’t play well defensively tonight, but I don’t want to take anything away from Rayne,” said Fontenot. “We knew they were good offensively and they are. Their offensive line is great and their running backs are strong and fast.
“They are good. They are a great wing-t offense. But we can’t just lay down and give it to them.”
“I believe it’s more effort than anything. We have to play with emotion. We don’t have size. We have speed and emotion and we have to live off of that. Tonight we didn’t and we have to change that.”
Offensively, the story was just the opposite for Crowley .
The Gents racked up 398 total yards and 14 first downs. Of their five scoring drives, two of them took just two plays. They also had three- and five-play scoring drives and one that went 11 plays.
“I’m proud of the offensive side of the ball,” said Fontenot. “We fought and stayed in it. We kept fighting back and that was good.
“Whenever we got down, there was no quit and the offensive side picked it up and kept us going.”
Senior quarterback Andre Mills completed eight of his 11 pass attempts for 255 yards and two touchdowns to highlight the effort.
Chanz Moore had seven receptions for 239 yards and two touchdowns and Thomas Cavell hauled in one pass for 16 yards
“That is how Chanz is capable of playing,” said Fontenot of Moore, who scored on receptions of 19 and 79 yards. “That’s what we’ve been waiting for out of him for his whole career. He’s just playing so confident and making great plays.
“And Andre just played as good a game as he could have played. He had a few mishandles with some read stuff, but that happens early in the year and we recovered from it.”
The Gents weren’t nearly as effective as Rayne on the ground, but the Gents did manage to pick up 143 yards rushing. Mills led the way with 69 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries while Danny Malbrough had 48 yards and one touchdown on seven carries. Chris Lewis also had 26 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
“I would have liked to have seen our running backs hit the holes a little faster,” said Fontenot. “But, boy, when they got it, they ran hard.
“We had a lot of bright spots there. That was a big defensive front we were up against, one that didn’t give up a score in the scrimmage. So I was very encouraged offensively. You score 34 points in a jamboree...you have to be encouraged.”
For Ware, Crowley ’s big-play capability was disturbing.
“I’m not pleased with our defense at all tonight, but I do think there’s room for improvement,” said Ware. “I thought we got tired real fast so one thing we have to do is get into shape. Another thing is that our whole front four is new so I knew when the lights came on, they were going to be real nervous and with nerves, you get tired fast. That’s part of it.
“And then we had two starting corners out. You’re playing a spread team with two starting corners out, that’s not good for you.
“We know we’re going to get better, though. I think our offense may have to carry us for a while but I think we’re good enough to do that. If we get better on defense, by the time we hit district I think we’ll have a chance to do something.”
Fontenot and the Gents will take the jamboree as a learning experience and hopefully right the wrongs before Friday when they open the regular season at home against Patterson.
“Hopefully, this is going to be a wakeup call,” said Fontenot of the jamboree. “And we needed it. I think we might have felt a little too good about ourselves after the scrimmage and it will be a wakeup call. It will get fixed. The kids have worked too hard not to do better. And they will. I’m not worried about that.”
Rayne will also open the season on Friday when they play host to St. Edmund at 7 p.m.