South Beauregard rallies past Iota
By Howell Dennis
LSN STAFF WRITER
IOTA – During the past two Iota victories over Vinton and St. Edmunds, Iota survived despite a total of 14 fumbles, seven of which were recovered by their opponent. On this evening, it came back to haunt them.
The turnovers, a 216-yard performance by Golden Knight back Dakota Cryer, and a strong defensive effort led by Texas A&M commitment Ivan Robinson led South Beauregard to a second half comeback victory by a score of 26-7 over the Bulldogs. Iota fumbled five times, losing three of them. Two Bulldog fumbles in particular seemed to change the complexion of the entire game.
“Well both teams turned the ball over tonight (South Beauregard lost three fumbles), except ours were in much more crucial situations,” said Iota’s coach Marcus LeJeune, whose team dropped to 2-1. “Turnovers are something we’ve been working on and will continue to work on. Even though we lost we learned some lessons tonight that hopefully we can build upon.”
Trey St. Andre, who was second in the state in rushing after back-to-back 200 plus games, just never seemed to get started as he had in the past two games. He was held to 55 yards on 15 carries.
“We knew coming into the game that they had a great back in St. Andre,” said South Beauregard coach Shawn Demeritt. “Iota has a long tradition of great running backs and we changed our defensive strategy this week to limit his yards. We figured if we could keep him around 100 yards we’d come out O.K. We definitely focused our defense on him this evening.”
The Golden Knights Robinson did his part to insure they would reach their goal. When Robinson wasn’t in the Bulldogs backfield making life tough on the Iota backs, he was drawing double teams and freeing up his teammates to come in free for several tackles behind the line.
During the Bulldogs first series of the game, St. Andre led a march down the field that ended with a nine-yard touchdown which initially made it seem like he was in for another big night.
In the next series South Beauregard tailback Dylan Fowler fumbled and Iota recovered. However, a St. Andre fumble on the following possession gave the ball right back to the Knights. After two Knight defensive stands, Cryer’s physical style of running began to take over and South Beauregard mounted an impressive drive ending in a 4-yard Cryer touchdown run.
“We’re blessed with two good runners,” said Demeritt. “Last week Dylan got the majority of the carries and this week it was Dakota’s turn. That was a tough team we played tonight. Fortunately, we got some breaks and came out on top.”
The Bulldogs open District 5-2A play against a tough Welsh team next week.
“The bottom line is that they capitalized and we didn’t,” said LeJeune. “Sometimes a loss early in the season, and the lessons you learn can help a team in the long run. We start district next week and we’ll be ready. Our boys played hard tonight.”
“This was a big win for our program,” said Demeritt. “Our boys played focused and we practiced hard all week.”
Iota was led in rushing by St. Andre’s 55 yards followed by John Simar, who was out last week with a shoulder injury, who had 51. In all, Iota’s powerful ground attack was held to just 122 yards. South Beauregard had 355.
While St. Andre came into the game with more hype, it was Cryer who seemed unstoppable on this evening with three touchdowns to go along with his 216 yards.
With the Bulldogs leading 7-6 at the half, the Knights came up with two crucial turnovers which completely changed the game’s momentum. After a Fowler fumble at the Knight 36-yard line, the Bulldogs returned the favor on very next play while inside the Knight’s 30-yard line. However, most heartbreaking for Iota, was a fumble on a play where St. Andre appeared to be going in for a score. The ball rolled into the end zone and the Knights recovered giving them the ball on their own 20.
“That play took the wind out of our sails,” said LeJeune.
“We had noticed that they had problems with turnovers in their last two games,” said Demeritt. “We tried to take advantage of that and I think we succeeded.”