Kaplan defensive lineman Ahston Gaspard celebrates after catching a punt that went for minus three yards and landed on Crowley’s three yard line. Photo by Brett Hebert.
Kaplan Pirates clicking at right time
Things are clicking at the right time for the Kaplan Pirates.
On Friday the Pirates advanced to the third round of the Class 3A playoffs by playing what head coach Stephen Lotief said was the Pirates’ best game of the season.
The Pirates cruised to a 36-6 victory over the Crowley Gents (8-4). They will play No. 6 Lake Charles College Prep Friday at home,
“This is the best game we played all year,” Lotief told his team after the game. “Our offense played well. Our defense played well, and our special teams played well.”
While the offensive team was staying on the on-field most of the night, the defense team was doing its part when called on. Up until late in the fourth quarter, the Kaplan defense was keeping the Gents from gaining a 100 yards of offense for 3 1/2 quarters.
“We played how we know how to play football,” said Kaplan linebacker Rhen Renfrow. “We read our keys right and played great. Everything Crowley tried to do, we had seen it on the film. We were able to counter it. And, we countered it pretty well.”
Kaplan defensive lineman Ashton Gaspard agreed with Renfrow.
“Our defense is just own, right now,” said Gaspard. “We are making stops now in back to back games. We are hyped about the playoffs.”
At halftime with Kaplan leading 22-0, the Pirates’ defense held Crowley to only 14 yards of offense. Not 144, but 14 yards.
Rushing the football, they had minus six-yards at halftime.
In the first quarter, Kaplan’s defense got to rest. Kaplan’s offense ran 22 plays to Crowley’s four.
The Pirates had eight first-quarter first downs to Crowley’s none.
Things did not change much in the second quarter. Crowley’s first two possessions were four plays and a punt.
By the time Crowley got their first down of the game, the Gents were behind 16-0 in the second quarter.
The strangest play of the second quarter was when Crowley had to punt the football deep into their territory at the 8. The Crowley punter fumbled the snap but picked up the ball and punted. However, the punt went off the side of his foot and straight up in the air.
Kaplan’s defensive lineman Ashton Gaspard looked up, and saw the football in the air. He jumped up and came down with the ball. It was a minus three-yard punt, and Kaplan got the ball on Crowley’s 3-yard line.
“I saw the ball go straight up, come back down and then it bounced, “ said Ashton. “I jumped as high as I could to get it. I think, I had God on my side for that play.
Kaplan quarterback Mason Frick snuck it up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown and Kaplan led 22-0 at halftime.
From that point on, Kaplan never looked back.