Redemption: Bulldogs sting Yellow Jackets
BY HOWELL DENNIS
LSN STAFF WRITER
IOTA – In an interview Wednesday, Iota coach Marcus LeJeune, when asked if he was interested in payback against Iowa after a 30 point loss last year which included three Yellow Jacket onside kicks when they were well ahead in the fourth quarter. LeJeune responded that he wasn’t interest in payback, he just wanted the win.
Suffice it to say, Friday night he got both.
In a complete team effort, the Bulldogs dominated Iowa 35-0 behind a staunch defense and the running of Blaise LeJeune, who gained 164 yards on 19 carries. Not to be overlooked is the contribution of Iota receiver Trenton Pickett who caught four big passes including one beautiful 35-yard reception from Abshire which he literally scooped up just a few inches off the ground.
“Our guys played their guts out,” said coach LeJeune. “We dominated the line of scrimmage and just played with a lot of heart.”
Iota scored on their first possession following a 67-yard run by LeJeune which set up a 3-yard touchdown by running back John Simar.
After a couple of series, it became obvious that the Yellow Jackets, who ran only 25 plays compared to 50 by Iota, were gong to have problems moving the ball effectively.
Jacket quarterback Logan Chapman had turnover problems and endured some tremendous hits from the Bulldog defense. He threw two picks, including one which resulted in a 70-yard touchdown by Iota defender Justin Benoit leaving the Bulldogs with a 21-0 lead entering the half . He ended up leaving in the third quarter following a vicious hit by two Iota defenders.
“He hurt is wrist, hopefully it’s not too bad,” said Iowa coach David Miller, whose team fell to 1-5. “It seems as though when things are going wrong that these things just seem to happen.”
Things didn’t any better for the Jackets following the intermission. They were unable to mount any serious offense against a Bulldog defense which pitched its fourth shutout of the season.
After a scoreless third quarter, Abshire’s touchdown run with 7:26 left in the fourth quarter gave Iota a dominating 28-0 lead and seemingly put the game out of hand.
That’s when things got interesting.
Iota then recovered a successful onside kick, and drove the ball down the field resulting in a Blaise LeJeune 4-yard touchdown run.
Iota then recovered a second straight onside kick but inserted their second unit and was content to run out the clock giving them a 35-0 victory.
“Those weren’t planned,” said LeJeune. “On the first one the kicker just missed the ball and on the next one the ball just happened to be a line drive that just hit the defender. They definitely weren’t called.”
One would be hard pressed to actually believe his explanation.
Did coach Miller have a problem with the onside kicks?
“It had nothing to do with the outcome of the game”, he said. “Our defensive effort was soft and they just did what they had to do.”
The Jackets, who fell to 1-5, could still make the playoffs but it will be tough.
“I think we have to win out,” said Miller. “But we’re not out of it yet.”