Golden Knights top Bulldogs
By: Jeannine LeJeune
LONGVILLE – When Iota traveled to South Beauregard Friday night for their Week 3 contest, they knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle.
The first play from scrimmage, a 37-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Johnson to Kain Hungerford, quickly put SBHS up 7-0 with 11:43 remaining in the first quarter. From then on the Bulldogs were playing catch up all night.
IHS head coach Marcus LeJeune says giving up big play was just part of the problem that night.
“That play kind of took the wind out of our sails at first, but we did rebound from it, which was good,” he said.
For the first time all season, however, the Bulldogs weren’t involved in a shutout.
After SBHS went up 13-0 late in the first quarter, Iota finally found some offensive rhythm in the second quarter, driving the field for an eventual 20-yard touchdown run by Phillip Reed. The drive was kept alive with a 23-yard run Thomas Murrell on a third-and-one, momentarily silencing the Golden Knight crowd.
“I saw the effort with these guys,” said LeJeune. “We sustained some drives when we could have quit early. We fought back into the game and turned the tide.”
Iota was within a touchdown of tying the game up and a PAT away from taking a lead. But the fumble issues rose and with 1:35 left in the half, Iota fumbled and Johnson returned the fumble for a 21-yard touchdown.
“The fumble kind of started the bad things for us and that blew the whole thing open,” said LeJeune. “That fumble really killed our momentum.”
The statistics of Friday night’s contest between the Bulldogs and Golden Knights show where Iota went wrong on the night. Despite being relatively even on total yards, 203 for Iota, 238 for South Beauregard, and each team causing an interception, it was the fumbles and penalties that hurt Iota the most. Four fumbles, three lost by Iota with nearly double the penalty yards and almost three times as many penalties.
“We gave them short fields each time we fumbled,” said LeJeune.
As some fans put it at the end of the night, nothing really went right for the Bulldogs.
With Iota getting the ball to start the second half, all hope was not lost, though. That was until Dylan Fowler scored a touchdown in the third quarter, and then another touchdown two-and-a-half minutes later. Fowler finished the night with 19 rushes for 90 yards and two touchdowns.
Iota would not respond until the fourth quarter, capping off a drive that started late in the third quarter with a two yard touchdown run.
By then the damage had been done and the Bulldogs had already started to lose their composure, starting their last two drives with two false start penalties along with a host of other penalties within the drives.
“We lost our composure a bit at the end,” said LeJeune.
Ethan Navarre led the team’s offense with 76 total yards on 18 carries. Murrell finished the night zero for three passing with an interception and 39 yards with 9 carries and a rushing touchdown. Reed had five carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. Michael Thevis rounded out the leaders of the run game with eight carries and 36 yards.
IHS did hit some good luck in the game, though. After taking what appeared to be a nasty hit, Bryant Fantroy returned to the field one play later. Fantroy was evaluated by the trainers during the game some and immediately following the game as well.
“He got his bell rung, but he’s a tough kid and was able to get back into the game” said LeJeune.
Iota will hope to end their two-game skid next week.