IOTA RALLIES PAST JENA
BY HOWELL DENNIS
LSN STAFF WRITER
JENA – The Iota Bulldogs pulled off a stunner Friday night, scoring two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the game to defeat the Jena Giants 33-32.
For a team known for it’s powerful running game and staunch defense, it was the arm of Chad Abshire that pulled out one of the most dramatic wins in recent memory for the Bulldogs.
“We believed in our guys,” said Iota coach Marcus LeJeune whose team improved to 5-1 with the win. “We told them never to quit and they didn’t.”
The game did not start out well for the Bulldogs as they fell behind 14-0 on a Devante Wallace 22-yard run and a Newt Ashley touchdown pass.
The normally strong Iota defense gave up 527 yards including 281 yards and two touchdowns by Jena star running back Eric Bowens.
“Their running back gave us problems tonight,” said LeJeune. “But our guys never gave up and our defense made the necessary plays at the end.”
After trailing by two touchdowns, Abshire took matters into his own hands, tying the game up with a 25-yard touchdown strike to Trenton Pickett and running four yards for another score to start the third quarter.
Jena then scored on their next two possessions including a six-yard run by Bowens to give the Giants a 26-14 lead.
Iota responded once again with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Abshire to Jordan Sylvestine. The extra point failed making the score 26-20.
Bowens then responded for the Giants with a 27-yard touchdown run. The Giants missed the extra point making the score 32-20 with three minutes remaining in the game.
That’s when Abshire, who threw for 228 yards made his two biggest throws of the season so far.
A 55-yard pass to Trenton Picket set up a Blaise LeJeune one yard touchdown run to bring the Bulldogs to within six.
Iota’s defense held firm to force a Jena punt with 54 seconds left.
Two plays later Abshire hit Sylestine in stride for a 63-yard touchdown to give Iota the lead for good and setting off a wild celebration on the Bulldog sideline.
“We’ll savor this tonight,” said a jubilant LeJeune. “This was a great win for us.”