Miscues, penalties lead to Bulldogs' demise in jamboree
CROWLEY - The Bulldogs saved their best series for last during Thursday night's game against North Vermilion, but it was too little too late.
The Bulldogs fell to the Patriots 10-0 at the opening game of the Acadia/Vermilion Jamboree, held Thursday at Crowley's Gardner Memorial Stadium.
"We had some guys that the heat got to them early and when you are starting sophomores, next thing you know you have freshmen in the game," said Bulldogs Head Coach Neal Legé. "I think it was a little more of a lack of effort and concentration tonight than anything.
"I don't know if it was 'first time jitters' or something like that we didn't execute on offense and on defense we just played sloppy."
For the Bulldogs, it didn't have to come down to that final series just to have hope of getting on the scoreboard. Iota had chances, but penalties, fumbles and smart defensive plays by North Vermilion stopped Iota from getting any real rhythm on offense for almost the entire game.
It wasn't just the offense that sputtered, however, as the defense also struggled to get its footing, especially early. The defensive issues led to a touchdown and a field goal for the Patriots during its first two possessions.
In the first half, the Bulldogs faced by defensive issues and fumbles on offense. When Iota was on defense, North Vermilion's slight changes offensively gave Iota fits. The first drive for the Patriots started with two sacks before they rattled off positive play after positive play, culminating in a three-yard touchdown by Jeremy James. James would finish the night will 11 carries and 46 yards and one touchdown.
In their second series, North Vermilion made quick work of the Iota defense and despite pulling off a defensive stand, the Patriots were in field goal range and capitalized with a 37 yard field goal by Trey Broussard.
On offense Iota only broke off one big play in the first half, a 18-yard run by Brandon Fantroy. Fantroy finished his night with eight carries for 43 yards. It was followed by a fumble that turned the ball over to North Vermilion, one of three Iota committed in the first half. Only one fumble was lost, however.
"We didn't have these fumble problems before tonight," said Legé. "I don't know if it was the heat or what but something got to them tonight."
Thus, even with a fairly even split of time of possession (7:17 for Iota, 7:43 for North Vermilion), Iota found themselves staring down a 10-0 deficit at halftime.
In the second half, Iota finally started holding the ball longer (9:04 for Iota, 5:56 for North Vermilion), but could not punch it in the end zone, partially due to early penalties and confusion.
The final series for Iota lasted 6:32, where between Patriots' penalties and good offensive play, Iota found itself in the redzone with 16 seconds remaining. Iota ended the game with Michael Thevis being tackled three yards away from the end zone.
"North Vermilion came in with a slightly different front and it confused us," said Legé. "I told them that when we look at the film there is nothing that they did tonight that we couldn't have blocked. We just didn't make the calls to do it.;
Iota was led offensively by Fantroy ,Thevis (seven carries, 20 yards) and Thomas Murrell (11 carries, 12 yards; 0-1 for zero yards and three punts for an average of 32 yards).
North Vermilion's offensive leaders included Joe Duhon (four carries for five yards and 4-10 for 45 yards), Tim Baudoin (five carries for 26 yards and two receptions for 22 yards) and Landon Dupuy (two catches for 23 yards).
Iota will begin its regular season campaign Thursday, Sept. 1 at home against Vinton.