Jennings slips past Iota
BY HOWELL DENNIS
LSN STAFF WRITER
JENNINGS – Behind some strong running and some questionable officiating, Jennings beat Iota 27-23 Friday night in the “Battle of the Bulldogs” in Jennings. The loss drops Iota to 6-2 on the season while Jennings moved to 2-5.
Mike Wildridge rushed for 115 yards and two scores to pace the Jennings attack. Jamon Gray and Bryson Abraham also had some nice runs for Jennings as they pulled out a victory in their final home game of the season.
Iota quarterback Chad Abshire had a tremendous game himself, as he accounted for 230 yards in total offense and three scores. He also helped to bring his team back from a 14-7 halftime deficit to take a 17-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
“Chad played a great game,” said Iota coach Marcus LeJeune who clearly was proud of his boys performance. “He broke off some really good runs for us and just played with tremendous heart.”
Jennings took the early lead on a Wildridge 26-yard touchdown run with 4:37 remaining in the first quarter.
Iota responded with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Abshire to Jordan Sylvestine on the following possession.
With time running out in the first half, Abraham made a nice pass to wideout John Meche who refused to go down and set Jennings up just shy of the Iota 30.
After a couple of Iota stops, Mike Wildridge ran the ball in from 27 yards out. He was aided by a missed block in the back call which happened right in front of an official.
That was only one of a handful of calls and missed calls that plagued Iota throughout the game.
LeJeune was only speaking about the pride he has in football team after the game.
“We came back against a bigger, faster team,” he said. “We didn’t quit and had a chance to win the game at the end. That’s the pride of Iota football.”
Iota’s 17-14 lead going into the fourth held up until 5:36 remaining when Jennings back Jamon Gray, who rushed for 92 yards on 11 carries in his first game of the season, ran for an eight yard score. Iota blocked the extra point to make the score 20-17.
When Jennings got the ball back they rode the running of Gray and Abraham down the field scoring on a three-yard Gray touchdown run with 2:30 remaining, giving them a 27-17 lead.
Iota got back to within 27-23 on a nice Abshire run with twelve seconds remaining in the game. They recovered the onside kick and had only enough time to run one play. Abshire was unable to get the ball off, however, and Jennings ran off the field celebrating their victory.
“That was a good team we beat tonight,” said Jennings coach Russell Phelps. “These boys have been working hard all year and to get a victory tonight is rewarding. Hopefully we can build on it.”
Abshire finished the night with 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. He also completed 10 of his 20 pass attempts for 130 yards and a score.
Sylestine had three catches for 52 yards and a touchdown, Trenton Pickett caught four passes for 42 yards and Eric Speer hauled in one pass for nine yards.
Blaise LeJeune rushed 12 times for 44 yards and Andy Fontenot had 10 carries for 37 yards.