Bulldogs look for change in ‘new season’
The page has turned, it’s a new season for the Iota Bulldogs. That’s the new message and the new thought process in the town.
For most teams, a prep football season is actually made of two season: out of district and district football, the latter counting more.
In the case of Iota (0-5), the 4-3A district schedule is not an easy task, but it is a chance to right many wrongs from the first half of the year, and it all begins by hosting the Iowa Yellow Jackets Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets (5-0) enter the game improving and flawless in record, but by no means perfect, especially following last week. In Week Five action, Iowa needed a four touchdown, second half rally to defeat White Castle.
But in the end, Iowa pulled it out and the victory means the Yellow Jackets enters on a hot streak.
“They’re playing real well right now,” said Bulldogs coach Neal Legé.
Iowa, in fact, is the only team to enter 4-3A play undefeated and it has it’s talented team to thank for that.
“They have tremendous backs and execute real well on offense,” said Legé. “They don’t do anything fancy, but they do a real good job of execution. Defensively, all of their guys do a great job getting to the ball and they’re sound in everything they do defensively.”
That talent comes on both sides of the ball. Early in the season, as the Yellow Jackets replaced their star quarterback from last year, Iowa depended on its defense as well as its deep backfield as Legé points out. Since then, however, the offense has begun to found its groove and even with a few speed bumps, Iowa has remained the victor each time.
Perhaps it’s biggest win of the year came in Week Four against Kaplan, handing the Pirates their only loss this season. The Yellow Jackets’ steadily improving offense put 33 on the scoreboard, their third time this season scoring above 30 points, and their defense only allowed 14.
And Iowa has been doing it all year with mostly young players with some of their playmakers like Darius Janice (linebacker and kick returner) and Hunter Roussell (wide receiver) only sophomores and several more like Chaz Key, Colinje Wilridge and D’Juan Rigmaiden (all running backs) and Koby Buquet (quarterback) juniors. Even freshmen have stepped up when needed for the Yellow Jackets like Kendrick LeJeune stepping in for Buquet last week.
While Iowa enters on a win streak with big performances, Iota looks to change its destiny.
After an out-of-district run to forget, the Bulldogs are hoping to get back to basics and start with a clean slate.
“We’ve gone back to basics and are trying to re-focus to start the new season in district,” said Legé.
One thing that will help Iota is the fact that after losing a few players earlier in the year, the Bulldogs have remained relatively healthy and finally got Adam Ardoin back last week, giving Iota a jolt on offense.
Still, the mental mistakes are what have destroyed many of the Bulldogs’ chances this year and Legé says that remains the key to victory.
“The efforts there, we just have to correct the things that are costing us drives, costing us field position as well as giving up the big plays on defense,” he said.
Iota will open 4-3A play against Iowa Friday night at Bulldogs Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.