Bulldogs in search of first victory at South Beauregard
IOTA – Taking steps forward each week is good, but the first victory of the season has so far alluded the Bulldogs.
But with each new week another new hope arises, this time it is in Longville, where Iota will travel Friday night to take on the South Beauregard Knights.
“The kids are still working hard,” said Bulldogs Head Coach Neal Legé. “It’s like I told them, we need to put four quarters together and come out with a ‘W’. That would solve a lot of our problems and give us a little bump heading into district.”
An interesting task awaits the Bulldogs this week as the Knights’ year has not gone according to plan either so far this season.
South Beauregard enters the game with a 1-2 record opening with a 18-2 victory over 4-2A’s DeQuincy before dropping decisions to 4-2A’s Rosepine (22-20) and 4-2A’s Welsh (36-14).
Things haven’t been going according to plan outside of just wins and losses either. Coming into the season Knights Head Coach Dwight Hudler expected his offense to put up points against its foes, especially with quarterback Zack Brady, tailback Joe Ledet and two other skill position players returning, but instead, South Beauregard is only averaging 17.3 points per game.
Brady, a member of the second-team All-District offense last season, recorded 1,200 yards in the air, but Iota kept Brady in check most of the night allowing him to complete only six of his 17 pass attempts for 64 yards. Ledet, meanwhile, ran for 1,014 yards and scored a team-high 11 touchdowns last year, and early word is he has only improved in speed and gotten bigger. Ledet had 26 carries against the Bulldogs last year and gained 132 yards and scored three touchdowns.
“Not only can [Brady] pass it, but he can throw it also,” said Legé. “They just execute real well on offense, so again this week we’ll have our hands full.”
But that doesn’t mean Iota’s defense, which has asserted itself well in its first three games, will not be kept busy by Brady, Ledet and company.
“They have the same quarterback, tailback and return one big time wide receiver and they run the spread offense,” said Legé, “so we will have to get ready as we do every week and be sound on assignments.”
“Our defense has played really well. Brett (Fusilier) has done a really good job with them. They have been sound throughout.”
The Bulldogs defense has given up 27.7 points per game through three games. Excluding the Vinton game, however, the number drops to 20.5 points per game. But, still Iota’s points have trended downward since week one, while South Beauregard’s offensive output has not been overly consistent, hitting the 20-point mark only once.
On the other side, Iota will look to continue to improve and find its own consistency on offense. The group, which has put up an average of only 12 points per game this year, only scored once against Lake Arthur, but fumbled away the opportunity for another six points and what could have been its first win of the season.
“If we can cut down on our turnovers and play smart and hold onto the ball, we’ll always give ourselves a chance,” said Legé.
But, South Beauregard’s defense appears to not be impervious itself allowing on average 20 points each game this year, 29 excluding its week one victory which only allowed DeQuincy to score a safety. The numbers are a little shocking as the Knights returned six defenders to the squad this year, led by senior nose guard Cody Cormier and safety Pryce Fontenot. The duo has garnered a lot of praise from Hudler who in the preseason dubbed Cormier the best defensive lineman he had ever been around and pointed out Fontenot’s play-making ability.
“They try to give him (Fontenot) every opportunity to get to the ball as much as they can,” said Legé. “You just have to be aware of where he’s at.”
The Bulldogs’ injury situation remains as it was last week. Most players are nursing minor injuries, mostly bumps and bruises, but with junior quarterback J.T. LeJeune still listed as day-to-day with his concussion, sophomore Timothy Lunson could see his second start.
The Knights will host Iota for the 7 p.m. kickoff Friday night.