BULLDOGS GROUND-AND-POUND NORTH VERMILION
BY HOWELL DENNIS
LSN STAFF WRITER
MAURICE – A staunch defense and some timely runs helped the Iota Bulldogs defeat the North Vermilion Patriots 21-8 in Maurice Friday night.
“They have some really good athletes,” said Iota coach Marcus LeJeune. “Our defense did a really good job buckling down when they had to.”
Iota took the opening drive methodically down the field following a nice kick return by John Simar which gave the Bulldogs the ball at their own 47. They used up eight minutes of the first quarter, successfully converting two fourth down conversions, before Blaise LeJeune drove the ball from the five for the opening score. The Bulldogs missed the extra point to lead 6-0.
On the ensuing possession, Justin Benoit recovered a Patriot fumble to give the Bulldogs the ball at the Patriot 22. Iota capitalized with a seven yard touchdown run by LeJeune. The two point conversion failed and the Bulldog lead was 12-0 at the end of the first quarter.
North Vermillion then had some success moving the ball as Bryce Zaunbrecher took a reverse 25 yards to put the Patriots in scoring position. Patriot quarterback Trey Price threw a three-yard touch down pass to Jeremy Ryder and a successful two-point conversion pulled North Vermilion to within 12-8. The Patriots initially tried to kick the extra point which appeared to be blocked by Iota. However, a roughing the kicker penalty placed the ball at the one which aided Patriot coach Stephen Loteif’s decision to go for two.
That would be the Patriots lone score of the game.
On the ensuing possession Bulldog quarterback Chad Abshire broke off a 46-yard run before he was brought down at the two-yard line. He punched the ball in for the score on the next play. Following a failed two point conversion the score was 18-8 which it remained going into the half.
The second half was a defensive battle with North Vermilion threatening only once when Zaunbrecher ran a double reverse inside the Bulldog twenty. However, a huge sack by Brenten Lanthier drove the Patriots back to the 36-yard line and effectively ended the drive.
It turned out to be the final Patriot threat of the game.
The Bulldogs then milked the clock thanks in no small part to some hard running by John Simar who broke off some nice runs to keep the Patriot offense off the field. The Bulldogs drove the ball down to the North Vermilion twenty before Trenton Pickett kicked a 30-yard field goal to make the final score 21-8.
“Our defense did a great job of pass rushing and controlled the line of scrimmage,” said LeJeune. “I give all the credit in the world to our coaching staff for having these guys ready tonight.”
“We still aren’t where we need to be,” he added. “But this was a great win.”
The powerful Bulldog rushing attack gained 305 yards paced by LeJeune’s 94 yards. Abshire added 81 with Simar powering his way for another 70.
North Vermilion was led by JaBian Kern who rushed for rushed for 52 of North Vermilion’s 89 rushing yards. Patriot quarterback was 6-15 for 69 yards.
The Bulldogs next travel to play the Jena Giants Friday night.