Fourth-ranked Blue Jays soar past Iota
By Tom Dodge
IOTA - It was billed a rivalry game between two local unbeaten teams.
It closed out as a rout as the fourth-ranked St. Edmund Blue Jays rolled to a 47-21 win over the Iota Bulldogs Friday night.
“It was a big win for us,” St. Eds head coach Tom Andrus said. “We knew they were going to be physical and we needed to be physical too.
“The difference was our line got off the ball and created good running lanes, the receivers made good catches and we played well together as a football team.”
The Class 3-A Bulldogs (2-1) opened the game with a time-consuming, 15-play drive.
Iota running back Blaise LeJeune had several key runs in the drive, including two runs that converted first downs for Iota.
Andy Fontenot capped off the 55-yard drive with a four-yard run. Trenton Pickett’s kick pushed Iota ahead 7-0 with 3:00 left in the opening period.
For the second straight week, the Blue Jays were held scoreless in the first period, but St. Eds capped off a 10-play, 69 yard drive when Trevor Hargroder caught a eight yard pass from Marshall Arabie with 11:13 left in the second quarter.
Tyler McGee’s PAT tied the game, 7-7.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Blue Jays defense forced a fumble and Zack Fuselier recovered the loose ball at the Iota 40 with 5:25 left before intermission.
On third down at the 31, Blue Jay quarterback Marshall Arabie raced for a 29-yard gain to the Bulldog 2.
Two plays later, Arabie connected with McGee for a short touchdown toss.
McGee’s PAT pushed the Blue Jays ahead 14-7 with 2:56 remaining in the half.
Iota responded with a quick, six play, 52-yard drive, sparked by a 19-yard pass play from Chad Abshire to Jordan Sylestine to move the ball to the Blue Jay 10.
Two plays later, LeJeune scored from three yards out with 45 seconds left in the second period.
The extra point was wide right and the Blue Jays still held a slim 14-13 lead.
Iota attempted an on sides kick, but the Blue Jays recovered and quickly took advantage of the great field position.
Arabie moved the ball down the field with passes to Jerod Fontenot, Hargroder and then capped of the drive with a 23-yard scoring strike to McGee with one second left on the clock.
The extra point was wide left, but the Jays took a 20-13 lead into the locker room.
The Blue Jays opened the third period much like the Bulldogs began the game with a time-consuming possession.
St. Eds converted three third downs on the 12 play, 72- yard drive including a 20-yard pass play from Arabie to Hargroder that moved the ball to the Bulldog 13.
Arabie then ran the ball four straight times capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run.
McGee’s PAT extended the Blue Jays lead to 27-13 with 6:02 left in the third period.
The St. Eds defense stood tall on the next possession as Hargroder picked off Abshire’s pass at the Bulldog 33.
On fourth-and-four at the Iota 12, the Jays ran a trick play when Arabie handed the ball to Hargroder on a reverse and the Blue Jay receiver then tossed the ball 17 yards to a wide-open Jerod Fontenot standing alone in the end zone.
The extra point failed, but the Jays held a 33-13 lead with 3:03 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs lost back-to-back fumbles on their next two possessions as Blue Jay defenders Edward Turk and Hargroder recovered the two miscues.
The Blue Jays mounted a seven-play, 48 yard drive sparked by a 22-yard reception by Hargroder off a tipped pass.
Arabie connected with Jerod Fontenot for a 31-yard scoring strike with 9:09 left in the game. Trey Caswell’s kick pushed the Jays comfortably ahead 40-13.
Iota was forced to punt on its ensuing possession and instead of running time off the clock, Arabie surprisingly floated a 60-yard scoring strike to Hargroder with 6:37 left in the game.
Caswell’s PAT closed out the Blue Jay scoring as St. Eds led 47-13 late in the contest.
Iota responded with a four-play, 63 yard drive capped off by a 32-yard touchdown run by LeJeune through the middle of the Blue Jay defense.
Abshire connected with Trenton Pickett in the corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion with 4:51 left to close the final gap to 47-21.
St. Eds host Elton on Friday, while Iota entertains Pickering for homecoming.