Bayou Crusaders beached by Slidell, 30-0

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The Tri-Parish Bayou Crusaders minor league football team entered Saturday’s clash with the Slidell Steel Sharks hoping to rebound from a tough opening day loss to defending Southern American Football League champion Baton Rouge.

Instead, Slidell spoiled the Crusaders’ home opener, taking a 30-0 victory at E.J. Landry Middle School.

“They’re one of the better teams in this league,” said Tri-Parish coach Roman Batiste. “Everyone in this league is improving. We need to follow suit.”

Offensive setbacks plagued the Crusaders throughout the game. Tri-Parish quarterbacks Encoh Kenard and Anthony Richardson combined to throw three interceptions — two of those were returned for touchdowns. The Crusader offensive line was called for six false start penalties, and a number of positive plays were called back due to holding or other infractions.

“Our quarterback play has to start getting better,” said Batiste. “And our line has to maintain its blocks and pickup the blitz. This is what’s really hurting us right now. Once we settle down and gain some chemistry, especially on the line, we’ll see things start to change.”

Slidell led 16-0 at halftime.

Batiste said falling behind early, combined with repeated mistakes caused the pressure to mount.

“We fall behind early, we’re blowing coverages, and we’re down 16-0,” said Batiste. “When we get a good run from (Jeffrey) Johnson, we’d see it called back. It made for three-and-outs, and we couldn’t afford those by that point.”

Johnson led the Crusaders (0-2) in rushing, carrying 8 times for 15 yards. Kickoff returnman Cory Breaux had three returns for 95 yards.

Defensively, Alvin Bartholomew tallied six tackles with three assists. Carlos Scott forced and recovered a fumble. Eric Grimes also recorded four tackles.