Oakdale upends Iota
By: Jeannine LeJeune
OAKDALE – After winning their second game last week, Iota looked to get on roll starting this week in Oakdale.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs would instead drop their third game of the season in an 18-3 loss to the Oakdale Warriors.
“(Oakdale) controlled the line of scrimmage, that’s the bottom line,” said Bulldogs Head Coach Marcus LeJeune.
For Iota, it was the tale of two halves. The teams were in a 6-3 battle at halftime, with neither one making a costly mistake and both proving they could drive the field and put up some points.
In the first half, Iota had only seven first downs, but managed to put three points on the board and headed into halftime with some momentum.
The Bulldogs also had no turnovers in the first half and only three penalties for 40 yards. It seemed like Iota was doing the little things right, something LeJeune has harped on the last few weeks.
“Our guys played hard, they just got the better of us,” he said.
Iota also had a chance to score a touchdown in the first half, but receiver Ryan Chapman fell down. It was just one example of the Bulldogs not finishing early drives.
“We had a chance early on, but the receiver fell,” said LeJeune. “You have to take advantage of your shots.”
But the Bulldogs’ second half performance was a totally different story; three interceptions and six penalties for 35 yards. Iota also was forced to turn to the pass far more than normal. In fact, going into the game, quarterback Thomas Murrell was 8-20 on the year. Tonight alone, he practically doubled those numbers, going 6-21 on the night.
“We needed to focus on containment and in the second half on defense and offense,” said LeJeune. “But they were pushing us back so it was hard to find a rhythm on offense.”
Oakdale would finish the night with seven penalties for 60 yards and four fumbles, losing one.
That’s not to say Iota abandoned the run, however. But, the Warriors were able to limite the Bulldogs’ run game to 67 yards on the night. Despite the interceptions, it was Iota’s aerial attack that kept them in the game with 117 yards.
“Thomas did a great job. Their guys just made some plays,” said LeJeune. “But if you can’t get the run game going, it’s hard to fool a defense with play-action passing and that’s where we got in a bind.”
Oakdale on the other hand, took full advantage of the Bulldogs’ second half woes. The Warriors were given short fields to work with after the interceptions.
“With them controlling the line like they were, it was easy for them to sit back and play man-to-man coverage, especially with the athletes they have back there,” said LeJeune.
Iota’s offensive leaders came in the air with Murrell throwing for 117 yards, with a long of a 32-yarder thrown to Chapman. Chapman had two catches on the night for 60 yards. Colby Istre contributed offensively by catching and running the ball for a total of 39 yards. Istre caught one pass for 23 yards and carried the ball eight times for 16 yards.
The Warriors’ offense was almost the polar opposite of Iota’s. Oakdale gained 163 of their 169 yards on the ground with Thomas Fisher gaining 99 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown. Their one catch of the night came from Bryan Guidry for a six-yard touchdown. Guidry also had five carries for 12 net yards.
Iota also had the injury bug return when kicker and full back, Kyle Leger, suffered a throat injury late in the game.