Big plays propel Golden Knights past Iota

IOTA – Big plays were the deciding factor in Friday night’s contest between the 5-2A Iota Bulldogs and the 4-3A South Beauregard Golden Knights.

Both teams made them—a 66 yard pass for Iota and a 45 yard run for South Beauregard for instance, but in the end the Knights made one more.

“We fought, they fought; we’d make plays, they’d make plays,” said Neal Legé, Iota’s head coach. “We just didn’t make them in the end.

“South Beauregard, a 3A squad, is a good team and they’re big and physical. The veteran ball club one tonight.”

Iota’s struggles still concern Legé continues, but he is still impressed with his team.

“I’m really proud of my guys,” he said. “They’re doing everything we ask of them. We’re just going to have growing pains, and that’s to be expected.”

By a score of 30-28, South Beauregard squeaked pass Iota to improve its record to 3-1. Iota, meanwhile, drops to 0-4.

Friday’s Iota team was a far cry from the team that faced St. Edmund in week two. This team seemed driven and picked up where it left off last week in playmaking ability.

The game Friday turned into a back-and-forth chess match. Iota would strike first in the first quarter with a two-yard rushing touchdown by Thomas Murrell, giving Iota an early six point lead and its first rushing touchdown of the season. The Golden Knights would answer with Silas Whalley picking up two yards on the ground just before the final ticks in the first round’s clock.

The quarter would end with the Knights up 8-6.

Iota would regain the lead late in the second quarter but after another PAT try failed, the lead would only be four points.

In the third quarter, it was South Beauregard’s time to score and they did so; once again ending the quarter up two over the home team.

As the fourth quarter began, Iota’s issues began rearing their head once again. Iota’s energy was down as did the Bulldogs final chances. But try as they might Iota just could not convert.

Defensively, the Dogs broke up passes and sacked South Beauregard’s quarterback, Zack Brady. It also forced a fumble and made big statements early in the game.

“They made big plays down the stretch we just ran out of time and energy in the fourth quarter,” said Legé.

The offense capitalized on South Beauregard’s mistakes and strung together some impressive drives of its own.

“That’s the most points we’ve scored this year, so that’s a plus,” said Legé.

The turning point of the game could have easily come from a punt in the third quarter which completely flipped the field position battle in favor of South Beauregard.

When they had the ball going, particularly in the first half, Iota’s offense seemed to have finally found a rhythm with Murrell making the switch to the backfield and J.T. LeJeune getting the nod at starter at quarterback. In the end, the 3A South Beauregard had a few more played and Iota just ran out of gas, according to Legé.

“Toward the end we were trying to rest the older guys who were playing on both sides of the ball and so we asked our younger guys to play and South Beauregard capitalized on that,” he said.

During the game, both the Bulldogs and Golden Knights suffered injuries in the game. Iota’s Jon-Michael Trahan injured his ankle in the second quarter and missed the rest of the game. His status going forward is uncertain.

Iota’s offensive leaders included LeJeune, passed for 132 yards and a touchdown in his four completions on 12 attempts. Murrell, who instead of starting at quarterback was in the backfield, picked up 103 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 21 carries and 0-1 in the air for the night. Other leaders included Brandon Fantroy (8-29 and a touchdown rushing, 1-66 and a touchdown receiving) and Kyle Leger (4-9 on the ground) and Ryan Chapman (2-51 in the air).

For South Beauregard, Brady would end the night 6-17 for 64 yards in the air and 9-10 rushing, Joe Ledet would end the night with 132 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries and Silas Whalley had one reception for 12 yards and went 4-41 and a touchdown on the ground.

Iota will end out-of conference play next week with a road trip to Oberlin as the team continues to search for its first victory.

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