Iota still has work to do ahead of season

KAPLAN – After an unscheduled halftime thanks to a thunderstorm, Iota, Kaplan and Eunice had their first chance to see their teams’ offensive and defensive output in a game-like atmosphere in a three-way scrimmage Thursday night at Ed Douglas Memorial Stadium, home of the Kaplan Pirates.

For Iota, it was a chance to see what the Bulldogs will have to offer on the field this fall.

And, after the scrimmage it appears there is still some work to be done.

“It’s like I told the guys, this was our first exposure to game-time speed,“ said Coach Neal Legé. “But, I thought we did some good things offensively and defensively.”

The Bulldogs had a chance to see how ready they were for primetime against the 6-3A’s Kaplan Pirates and 4-4A’s Eunice Bobcats.

“I think the speed by Eunice and Kaplan overwhelmed us for the most part,” said Legé. “We can’t mimic that speed in practice and it hurts us and it showed today.

“We got a little tired, but we have a bunch of guys going both ways, so it’s tough.”

The speed of both teams proved to be problematic throughout the scrimmages for Iota, but Iota did have some success offensively and defensively against both. For Iota, moving forward, it will be about improving and fixing the mistakes they see on tape before the jamboree next week and before the season begins, according to Legé.

“We’ll go back and look at the film, see what we need to correct and go back to work Monday.,” he said.

On offense, Iota first took on Kaplan’s defense and the Bulldogs were able to find some rhythm during the series.

“We had some bad snaps, bad fumbles and we were out of rhythm and they play a defensive front that we aren’t used to,” said Legé, “but, everything we saw is correctable.”

The Bulldogs had three first downs and two fumbles in the limited series, but it also had some big plays, including a 70-yard pass that was called back due to a penalty. In Iota’s key offensive maneuver, the run game, the Bulldogs rushed the ball nine times for 25 yards.

Legé also was able to use the scrimmage as an evaluation for his running backs, as he used five during the scrimmage and all played well.

“They ran well,” he said. “Both defensive fronts did a good job of jamming us up front, but those were different looks than we have seen. Overall, the backs ran hard and we had some good, positive runs.

In the Kaplan scrimmage, the Bulldogs’ were led by Tyler Prejean (three carries for 13 yards), Michael Thevis (two carries for 8 yards), Nick Sloane (two carries for 3 yards), Adam Ardoin (one carry for 4 yards) and Tim Lunson (one carry for -3 yards and 0-1 passing).

In its second scrimmage against Eunice’s defense, Iota’s offensive success was not as prevalent. Only converting two first downs, Iota gained a total of 23 yards, all on the ground. Leading the Bulldogs in this scrimmage, Iota was led by Sloane (three carries for 19 yards), Ardoin (two carries for 4 yards), Thevis (two carries for 3 yards), Prejean (two carries for 1 yard) and Lunson (three carries -4 yards).

On defense, Iota did have some success, but the Bulldogs had difficulty adjusting to the speed of both the Pirates and Bobcats.

“We took some bad angles and had bad tackling and it showed on some plays, but on some plays we played well,” said Legé.

The Bulldogs first had to contend with Eunice’s offense. Limiting the Bobcats to only one touchdown in its playing time, 12 Bulldogs recorded 15.5 tackles with six recording solo tackles.

Those recording tackles were Jessy LeJeune (three total tackles), Lunson (2.5), Samuel Reed (1.5), Tyler Bushnell (1.5), Sloane (one), Smith (one), Leger (one), Zachary Hebert (one), Logan Hebert (one), Ardoin (one) and Hayden Meyer (0.5) and Thevis (0.5)

In its second defensive scrimmage, Iota took on Kaplan’s offense. In the final scrimmage of the event, Kaplan scored two touchdowns and Iota recorded 10 total tackles, six solo tackles, and an interception. Defensive contributions came from Thevis’ interception and tackles by Zachary Hebert (1.5 total tackles), LeJeune (1.5), Dylan Breaux (1.5), Ardoin (1), Smith (1), Sloane (1), Jeff Murrell (0.5) and Leger (0.5).

Another important thing for Legé and the Bulldogs is that they came out of the scrimmage relatively healthy, with only one injury to note, a lineman that Legé says may or may not have broken his collarbone. The Bulldogs are already missing one of their defensive linemen, who injured his knee in camp. Legé hopes to see him return around week three.

In earlier action with second team offense and defense, Iota’s Kade Covalt scored a roughly 80 yard touchdown against Kaplan’s second team defense. Legé said for the younger members of his team, this scrimmage was the first time they saw some real action and he liked what he saw.

“That was their first real experience,” he said. “We really haven’t had the time to focus on them as we’ve been focusing on the older guys, so I was really proud of them. They executed and did what we asked of them. They did well.”

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