Iota entertains St. Edmund in home opener
IOTA - When the lights come on in Bulldogs Stadium Friday night at 7 p.m., both teams will be looking to make Week One a bad memory, a footnote in a potentially great season.
But with both the Iota Bulldogs and St. Edmund Blue Jays on a quest for the same goal, it will be effort and sound play that decides the winner this week between the two rather evenly matched foes, something Iota coach Neal Legé knows all too well.
“We have to have better effort, plain and simple,” said Legé following Iota’s Week One loss. “When we needed to make stops, we couldn’t on defense. When we needed to make plays on offense, we missed blocks, we missed assignments.”
That outlook had simmered into resolve for the Bulldogs this week as they turned the page and began to solely focus on the Blue Jays.
For Iota, the week focuses on four things: Build off of the positives, improve on offense, continue to build up special teams and tackle better on defense.
That’s the plan, the proof will come in the execution Friday.
“Looking at the positives is all you can do,” said Legé. “We need to look at what we did right and work on that while trying to correct the negatives.
“We had no breakdowns in special teams in the first week, so that’s always good. Hopefully we can continue that way and get better at that as well.
“We have to get better tackling on defense, better on offense, all the little things that can get you beat, did Friday night.”
Iota feels if they go into their home opener this week and are able to control the game how they plan, they can pull off the victory, but the team they are playing, St. Edmund has its own plan, led by an always hard to stop offense.
“They are very quick-paced, we are going to have our hands full” said Legé. “They have a really good quarterback, a slew of receivers and they run the ball well.”
The St. Edmund Blue Jays’ offense had 299 yards--157 yards rushing, 142 passing. A rather balanced team that also produces quick snap counts to keep its opponents guessing. But what Iota will have to be very concerned with is the sheer amount of play makers St. Edmund has. In last week’s contest seven Blue Jays gained rushing yards, three of which also had receiving yards, and two more had receptions of their own. In total 10 players touched the ball on offense.
Still, the Blue Jays are coming off of their own loss to forget, a 45-19 loss to the Rayne Wolves that included a 38-0 halftime deficit. It was a game that allowed 359 yards, 282 of which came on the ground, likely welcomed news to the Bulldogs and their fans.
“St. Eds is always a team that plays hard,” said Legé. “They execute well on defense and offense and they spread you out. You have to play heads up on every play.
“They also have a lot of guys going both ways. Hopefully that will slow them down a little bit.”
The Bulldogs will likely be without one of its offensive linemen this week after Tyler Buschnell injured his foot in Week One’s contest. Legé describes him as week to week. Running back Adam Ardoin is also still out with a separated shoulder.
But in the end, it will fall to the Bulldogs to first improve itself.
“Correcting our mistakes from last Friday is our number one focus,” said Legé. “We’re still trying to figure out what happened; why we played that way.
“We’ve got to correct the mental side. We’ve got to be more aggressive.”
Iota hopes to start that improvement on the unluckiest of days, Friday the 13th, when it takes on St. Edmund in Bulldog Stadium.