By Andy Collier
BC Sports Editor
Friday night was a special night for the Bayou Academy Colts here at Colt Field.
Along with the homecoming festivities, Bayou Academy had its inaugural Sports Hall of Fame Class as Bill Mann (football), Dennis Short (football), Lisa Pearson Horn (basketball), Caleb Reed (football, baseball), Jud Thigpen (baseball, basketball), David Crowe (football), Cory McClendon (football, baseball), James Glorioso (basketball, track), Mary Margaret Bryant-Kovac (basketball) and Lauren LaSuzzo (softball) were inducted before the start of the game in a ceremony on the field.
When the induction ceremony concluded, Bayou Academy took on the Lee Academy Colts in a key District 1-AAA contest. The Blue-and-White Colts from Cleveland established themselves early and took down the Green-and-White Colts from Clarksdale 41-14, sending the crowd of excited football fans home happy.
Bayou improved to 3-2 with a 1-0 mark in the district, while Lee fell to 2-3 with 1-1 mark in the district. The win not only gave Bayou the right start in district play but it moved the team up in the power point standings from 12th to a tie for seventh with Columbia (2-3) and Cathedral (3-1). The power point standings are used to determine who goes to the playoffs in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools. The Colts finished with 297 yards of offense on just 37 plays.
“We have some very mature leaders on this team, and we started out a whole lot better than I thought we were going to,” Bayou head football coach Greg Wallace said. “Homecoming at this school is a big deal, and I want them to have a lot of fun with their classmates. I think at about 2 o’clock today, we really locked it in and got our heads on straight.”
Bayou had a devastating first half of football. Senior quarterback Cross Crowe threw three touchdown passes in the half with two going to senior wideout Colby Chenault. Chenault’s second touchdown catch of the half came toward the end of the second quarter when he caught the ball at midfield at around the 50-yard line and took it to the house for a 65-yard reception. The TD gave Bayou a 34-7 lead at halftime. Clinton Davis had a touchdown grab, and Bryson Reed and Riley Smith each rushed for a TD in the first half.
The Colts got their last touchdown in the second half with 7:20 left in the third quarter, as John Thomas Aguzzi intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards for a score. The kick by Zach Barkman was good, and Bayou led 41-7. Lee was able to score again but it was too little, too late.
“We played really good physical football,” Wallace said. “They (Lee) are a well-coached football team. They threw the ball on us well tonight. We have to make some corrections in our secondary.
“Offensively, our guys came off the football and did a very good job up front tonight. Cross did a great job. He checked us out of two bad plays and threw two touchdown passes. I thought J.T. Aguzzi had a great game again. Bryson had a great game.
“We played a lot of young guys tonight. That’s critical for us. We don’t have a lot of depth, but we’ve got to get these guys ready. I’m very proud of the way they played. We played well in special teams. Zach Barkman did a good job of putting his kickoffs where he wanted too.”
Crowe had a masterful game throwing the football as he completed 13-of-17 passes for 235 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Chenault was as sure-handed as ever as he caught six passes for 125 yards with two touchdowns. Reed was Bayou’s leading rusher with 21 yards and a touchdown on four carries, Hayes Holman caught four passes for 68 yards, John Maggio had a 30-yard catch, Davis caught two passes for 12 yards with a score and Barkman kicked five PATs to round out the offense.
On defense, the Colts turned in a total team effort. Smith recorded eight total tackles including a tackle-for-loss, Kellar Otts recorded seven tackles and a sack, Reed had seven tackles, Aguzzi returned an interception for a touchdown, Davis intercepted a pass, Trey Williamson recorded four tackles with a fumble recovery and Gilbert Lopez finished with six total tackles to lead Bayou.
Bayou will return to the gridiron Friday when the team travels to Grenada to play Kirk Academy in a District 1-AAA contest.
Chenault is having a season to remember at wide receiver. In five games, he’s already caught 29 passes for 563 yards with seven touchdowns. According to Maxpreps, he leads the entire state, Mississippi High School Activities Association and Mississippi Association of Independent Schools combined, in receiving yards. He is five yards ahead of Tupelo Christian’s Foster Yates (558) and 17 yards ahead of Brandon High School’s Jonathan Mingo (546). He is also third in total receptions (29), third in receiving yards per game (112.6) and tied for second in touchdown receptions.
Crowe’s 235-yard performance enabled him to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark (1,134) for the season after five games. Crowe’s 1,134 yards put him third overall in the entire state in the Maxpreps rankings behind Taylorsville’s Ty Keyes (1,448) and St. Andrew’s Holland Townes (1,180). He is also third in attempts (131), tied for third in interceptions (8) tied for fourth in total completions (74), tied for fifth in touchdown passes (10) and fifth in yards per game (226.8).
Crowe is the son of former Delta State University standout David Crowe, who is Bayou Academy’s all-time leading passer. In David’s senior season at Bayou in 1991, he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in his sixth game of that year. David ended up with 2,682 yards in the air in 13 games that year, as the Colts finished AA State Runners-Up.