Rayne upends Iota in Acadia Parish Jamboree finale

RAYNE – In the Acadia Parish High Schools Football Jamboree night cap, the battle against Iota and Rayne turned into a battle of styles.

Thursday night, speedy strikes won over slow and methodical when Rayne defeated Iota 28-13.

“I was real proud of our offense,” said Iota Bulldogs Coach Neal Legé; “I was real proud of the kids. They’re conditioning improved; the backs ran well. We just have to learn to run lower. If we can just control the ball on offense, we’ll give some people trouble down the road.

“Defensively, we have a long way to go. We have a lot of young guys playing, a lot of arm grabbing instead of getting after the ball, so we’ll address that Monday at practice.

“We have some tough kids and they play hard, though and that’s all we can ask for now.”

In offensive numbers, the Bulldogs compared well to the Rayne Wolves, but the difference lied in big plays where the Wolves capitalized and netted touchdown after touchdown.

“I thought we played well, we executed well on offense,” said Rayne Coach Curt Ware. “We had some big plays on offense and would have liked to run a few more plays. Sometimes when you score too quick... it’s a good problem to have, but I thought because of that our defense got tired and they (Iota) got to run a lot of plays and they did a great job blocking us late, so we have to get in better condition to be able to play four full quarters.”

Rayne’s four touchdowns of the evening came on quick hits, for the most part, holding the ball only about two minutes at a time or less.

With only one turnover, Rayne can call their offensive outing a success as the Wolves’ playmakers struck early and often in both halves.

“We have some speed in the backfield,” said Ware, “so if we get a chance we can score.

“Offensively, I think we have a pretty good football team. Our quarterback does a good job as well and we’re big up front.”

Ware noted that he also had one of his offensive linemen out Thursday night.

And the speed of Rayne’s big three–Trent Duhon, Javon Cormier and Byron Mouton–was too much for Iota’s defense to handle.

“Rayne has a real good ball club and a lot of speed on offense,” said Legé. “That’s what gave us a lot of problems on defense.”

But while Iota’s defense continues to be a head-scratcher for the Bulldogs, the offense isn’t. The running back-by-committee feel for Iota paid big dividends all night.

“When we decided we were going to line up in the I and run right at them, we did, we were able to churn out some yards,” said Legé.

Four running backs for Iota combined 189 yards, but the Bulldogs did suffer some bad news on the running back front as Adam Ardoin, who started the game with on a strong note, separated his shoulder and will now need to be evaluated to find out just how much time he will miss. The remaining three running backs made up for the showing, however, mainly the Bulldogs “speed back” Michael Thevis.

“We were looking at [Ardoin] to be our tailback so now we’ll have to go to someone else,” said Legé. “Michael Thevis did a great job running the ball, and Mike’s a back that’s not a big back, not a fast back, but he has great field vision and he showed that tonight and ran well.”

That isn’t to say Iota was without it’s offensive issues that will need to be remedied by the time the season kicks off in Oberlin next week. The Bulldogs threw three interceptions, giving the talented Wolves a shorter field and more opportunities to score. Rayne would take advantage.

The first touchdown of the game came on the first series. Rayne would get the ball first and in about two minutes would march 66 yards down the field in six plays. The drive would be about as “methodical” as Rayne would get the night, but in it, the Wolves’ big-play potential would be on display. The touchdown would come, however, at the hands of a 5 yard run by Duhon. Ty Delahoussaye’s extra point gave the Wolves a 7-0 lead early in the first half

In its first try, Iota would turn the ball over, when Rayne’s Johnathan Dugas would nab the first interception of the night. Rayne would return the favor with a fumble in its next series, however.

With 9:47 left in the first half, Iota began to find itself on offense and beginning on the Iota 23 yard line, the Bulldogs’ began to move with precision down the field in a 7 minute drive. The drive, which included three third down conversions and a fourth down conversion was punctuated with a 32 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Timothy Lunson to Jacob Pousson. With Tristan Fontenot’s extra point, the Bulldogs now found themselves tied late in the first half with the jamboree hosting Wolves.

But less than a minute later, Rayne answered with a 31 yard pass from Tyler Lejeune to Mouton. The three play, 65 yard drive was Rayne’s bread and butter with a 31 yard run matching the touchdown pass in the drive. With another successful extra point driven in by Delahoussaye, Rayne would grab a 14-7 lead.

Iota would have a final shot to tie the game before halftime with 1:48 left on the clock. And, with a personal foul penalty on Rayne with 1 second remaining, Iota would find itself in Rayne territory for one final try. However, the second interception of the night, caught this time by the Wolves’ Charles Jones, would shut the door on the half and Iota’s chance to tie.

In the second half, the Bulldogs would get the ball to start, however a drive that started off very promising for Iota would end when Rayne’s Mouton, who seemed to be everywhere all night would catch interception number three for the Wolves at the Iota 39. On its first offensive play of the half, Cormier would slip a few tackles and give the wolves another big play and a 39 yard touchdown. Delahoussaye’s extra point gave Rayne a 21-7 lead with 12:16 remaining in the game.

The Bulldogs’ next series, while lengthy, would net Iota nothing after turning the ball over on downs at the Rayne 30 yard line.

Four plays later Duhon had his second touchdown of the night, courtesy of a 54 yard run. Another extra point by Delahoussaye was true and Rayne was up 28-7 with 3:55 remaining.

Never ones to give up, Iota would be sparked by a 37 yard kickoff return and begin play at their own 30 yard line. In their own version of the hurry up offense, Iota would take seven plays and about 2.5 minutes to cross the goal line. Capping the drive was Nick Sloane’s 8 yard run. However a missed extra point allowed Rayne to hold onto a 28-13 lead.

The Wolves would finish the evening with 11 first downs 287 yards of total offense. Leading the way offensively were Lejeune, who went 3-5 in the air for 47 yards and a touchdown; Cormier, who rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on seven carries; Duhon, 104 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries; Mouton two carries for 19 yards and a reception for 31 yards and a touchdown; and Troy Breaux, a reception for 16 yards.

They turned the ball over once (a fumble) and committed only two penalties on the night.

For Iota, Lunson would finish the night 4-12 with 50 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. He added 15 yards of offense on the ground. Leading rushers included Thevis (14-91), Sloane (10-48 and a touchdown), Tyler Prejean (6-19) and Ardoin (6-16). Receiving the ball Thursday night were Pousson (1-32 and a touchdown), Kyle Smith (2-10) and Sloane (1-8).

Rayne will open its season at home against St. Edmund, Iota will travel to Oberlin. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. kickoffs Friday, Sept. 6.

Acadia Parish Today

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