Iota opens District 5-AA play at Welsh
By Howell Dennis
LSN STAFF WRITER
IOTA – After three weeks of non-district opponents, the Iota Bulldogs face a stiff opponent for their first district game of the 2009 season as they play the 3-0 Welsh Greyhounds Friday night.
“Our district is very tough,” said Iota coach Marcus LeJeune. “Anyone can beat anyone on a given week. Right now everybody’s even. It will be very hard for a team to go undefeated in our district.”
Iota, 2-1, is coming off a 26-7 loss to South Beauregard in which the Bulldogs were hurt once again by turnovers, including a critical fumble by star tailback Trey St. Andre as he appeared to be going in for a touchdown.
“That was a momentum changer,” said LeJeune. “We’re working on correcting those mistakes. Our team needs to work more on their focus and attention.”
LeJeune also emphasized the line play of his team.
“They wore us down last week,” he said. “We need to work on controlling the line of scrimmage.”
The Greyhounds sport a perfect 3-0 record, having defeated Loreauville, Rayne, and Vinton by comfortable margins.
Welsh, coached by Crowley native Robbie Gates, runs a multiple wing T offense which is led by junior quarterback Payton Fox and running backs Dylan Hebert and Will Guidry.
“They have three solid backs,” said LeJeune. “One is a bruiser and then they have two speed guys. And their quarterback is very good at controlling things.”
On defense the Greyhounds returned only four starters in linebacker Jordan Hebert, defensive end Cody Fruge, cornerback Dustin Wilridge, and safety Casey Trahan. However, the Greyhound defense may actually be improved this year having given up only 33 points in their three games this season. Against Rayne, they allowed only 185 yards in pitching a shutout.
The Bulldogs have also been dealing with some key injuries not to mention trying to avoid the flu which has been plaguing Acadia Parish. John Simar returned last week following a shoulder injury, however, Chase Clement will miss some time due to a stress fracture and Corey Vizina is out for the year with a torn ACL.
After rushing for over 200 plus yards in Iota’s first two games, St. Andre was held to 55 yards on 15 carries last week playing against a defense that South Beauregard coach Shawn Demeritt said was basically designed specifically to stop him.
“Iota has a long tradition of great backs and St. Andre seems to be the next one,” said Demeritt following the game. “We figured if we could hold him to under 100 yards we’d be in pretty good shape. We rarely spend so much time practicing stopping one player but we did last week.”