Iota looks to change fortune in Jennings
When one door closes, another opens. Iota hopes that the year dwindling down presents an open door soon.
“The window is getting smaller and the opponents are getting better and the injuries are beginning to mount up,” said Neal Legé, Iota Bulldogs coach.
“I think being in school this week is going to help a lot as far as distractions go,” he said.
Iota faced two days of the kids out of school last week and Legé is hopeful that routine will help Iota keep a better grasp of its focus heading into this week.
“We didn’t play really bad Friday, it just got away from us in the third quarter. They put up 20 quick points and we had no answers offensively and we were limited.
With only three weeks remaining in the season, Iota (0-7, 0-2 in district 4-3A play) only has a few remaining chances in the 2013 season. It’s next chance for victory comes Friday night against Jennings.
Iota’s story has been much different, but it has also been a new story of the same book each week.
“When you’re 0-and-7 going into Week Eight and you’ve had some opportunities and had wins slip away from you, it’s tough,” said Legé.
However, as Legé explained, the season is getting shorter but the competition is conversely getting better and better.
“Jennings is just as good, if not better than Westlake and Iowa,” he said. “That’s really the top three.”
Meanwhile, the other Bulldogs enter the game 4-3, 2-0 and in firm control of their own district destiny.
Jennings is currently tied atop the division with Iowa at 2-0. Out of district, Jennings defeated Winnfield and Eunice, both 5-2 this season. Their losses came to St. Martinville (3-4) by three points, DeRidder (6-1) by a point and Plaquemine (5-2) by three points. It is scoring an average of 25 points per week and 32 points in district. Needless to say, Jennings presents yet another arduous task for Iota.
“They have a very talented quarterback, a good set of backs and their receiver is probably one of the better wide receivers I’ve seen all year,” said Legé.
“He’s one of those guys that if you throw it up, he’s going to go get it. If it’s a jump ball, 10-out-of-10 times he’s coming down with it. I haven’t seen anyone beat him yet. He’s a great athlete and he also plays cornerback for them.”
Of course, for Iota perhaps the best way to combat an offense that is able to put up a lot of points is to keep them off the field and control tempo.
“We have shown we can do that, we did it Friday night where we are third-and-short then we jump,” said Legé. “For us, fourth-and-1 to fourth-and-6 is a drive killer, it’s hard for us. That’s something we stressed after the game and something we stressed (Monday). We can’t make those kind of mental mistakes this late in the season that’s just a lack of focus.
“You can’t put yourself in long downs and distance against a defense like Jennings. They’re too quick.”
What doesn’t help that cause is that injuries are starting to pile up a bit for Iota. Many players are battling bumps and bruises but two are out this week for sure with knee injuries.
“Zach Hebert, who plays offensive line for us, won’t play, he has a knee sprain,” said Legé. “Free safety Jessy LeJeune’s going to be out with a knee problem also.”
Hebert has been battling several injuries throughout the year including an ankle injury and his other knee.
When Jennings does take the field on offense, Iota will need to be sound on defense, something Iota has struggled with on and off throughout the season. To help that, the aim will be to give Iota’s defense a chance to rest.
“We’re going to have to control the tempo and move the ball on offense and give our defense a chance to rest,” said Legé. “(The defense) will have their hands full when they’re out there.
“You have to be on their toes. They’re backs run extreme hard.”
The Iota Bulldogs will travel Friday, Oct. 25 to take on the Jennings Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.