Gents Reflect on Roller Coaster Football Season

Crowley falls by one-point to No. 2-seeded Sterlington in playoffs

Members+of+the+Crowley+Gents+run+through+the+team%27s+banner.

Andy Hebert

Members of the Crowley Gents run through the team's banner.

Madeline Foster, Editor-in-chief

The 2019 Crowley Gents’ season ended in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs, but not before coming within one point of upsetting the No. 2-seeded and 2018 runner-up Sterlington Panthers, 37-36.

The Gents finished this season with an overall record of  5-6.

Third-year head coach Jeptha Wall, who has been coaching for 23 years, including eight years at Crowley High, stated his opinion on their last game and overall season.  “I think we accomplished some great wins and battled to the wire in every game,” he said. “In the playoff game, we played our hearts out but fell a little short. We were hoping to make a deep run.” 

The Gents had a rough start to the season, losing two of its first three games. The only victory was a 26-20 home win over the Westlake Rams on Sept. 13. 

Crowley then won the next four contests to capture a mark of 5-4. The winning streak started with a 34-18 homecoming victory over the Northwest Raiders on Sept. 27, followed by wins over the Marksville Tigers (62-38), the Washington-Marion Charging Indians (44-38), and the Abbeville Wildcats (44-15). 

The Gents, however, ended the regular season with three straight losses and entered the Class 3A playoffs as No. 31 seed.

J.C. Webb
Crowley head coach Jeptha Wall

According to Wall, Crowley’s two best games this season were against Marksville and Sterlington. “The game against Marksville seemed to put us on the map around the state. We were playing well at the time,” recalled Wall. “Then in the playoff game against Sterlington, we showed great character in our performance and attitudes.” 

“Tyler Carrier’s final game performance was extraordinary,” added Wall. “I was happy for him. He has been one of my favorite players to coach in 23 years, and he went out with a bang!”

Wall mentioned that he heavily relies on the seniors to be the team leaders. “Kendal Harmon and Tyler Carrier were probably our strongest two. Kendal kept a business-like approach for younger classmen to model after. Tyler kept everything upbeat,” explained Wall.  “Each of the other seniors led in different ways, but these two stood out above the rest.”

Harmon, 18, who has been on the football team for four years, played primarily defensive tackle this year, but he also played left tackle. He finished the season with 71 tackles, 12 for a loss, four sacks, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He also blocked a punt, recovered it, and returned it for a touchdown. Harmon was named to the All-District team all four years, the last three years included being a first-team selection. He was also first-team All-Parish in 2018 and 2019 and a Class 3A All-State Honorable Mention this year.

Kaytience Deville
Offensive lineman Kendal Harmon (68)

He recalled a play he made against the Abbeville Wildcats in week 7. “My favorite memory was when I blocked the punt against Abbeville, then scored.”

Harmon mentioned coach Kyron Benoit, who is his favorite coach, pushed him the most.  “The reason why is because he pushes me to this day; he has known me for four years and wants me to do better in life,” he explained. “He pushes people beyond their limit to make them better,” stated Harmon.

Harmon recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play defensive lineman for the Northwestern State Demons in college. 

Like Wall, Harmon believed one of the team’s best games was against the Sterlington Panthers. “We played our hearts out, and it was do or die,” commented Harmon. 

Senior Obadiah Butler, 17,  has been playing running back for the Gents for four years.  

Butler explained what he likes most about playing football. “What I like most is playing with my teammates,” he stated. 

Butler has been a member of the All-Parish and All-District teams for three years. He was also the District Offensive Most Valuable Player this season, and he made the Class 3A Honorable Mention team. Butler led the team in rushing and receiving. He gained 1,247 yards and scored 15 touchdowns on 146 carries. He also caught 46 passes for 611 yards and scored seven touchdowns. 

He also encourages others to play next season. “I want them to do better than we did,” said Butler.

Butler is expected to sign a track scholarship with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Allyson Schexnayder
Senior running back Obadiah Butler (23)

A favorite play from Butler’s football season was from week 9. “My favorite memory was running my first kick return back in the Erath game,” commented Butler. Another one of his favorite memories from this season is singing the National Anthem with his team. 

In agreement with Wall and Harmon, Butler thought the team’s best game was against the Sterlington Panthers. “We left it all on the field.” 

According to Butler, this season has taught him to trust all of his teammates. He also explained how football has changed him as a person. “It made me not as shy as I was,” said Butler. 

Senior quarterback Marquis Garrett, who recently signed a National Letter of Intent with Mississippi College, led the Gents in passing by completing 97-of-172 attempts for 1,337 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Junior defensive back Tyron Goodley led the Gents with 122 tackles, including 50 solos. He added four fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown.

Carrier ended his senior season with 106 tackles (50 solos), three tackles for losses, three interceptions, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.

Wall explained what he was most excited about for the 2020 football season. “Just to see a new group mold themselves into starting roles and how they learn to handle adversity.  It builds them up for what life will offer in the future.” 

Wall believes the key returning players are the next group of seniors, and although they are not many, they have a lot of experience. “Looking forward to next season!” commented Wall.

Andy Hebert
The 2019 Crowley Gents football team and local veterans