St. Andre leads Iota past Vinton
By Howell Dennis
LSN STAFF WRITER
VINTON – Behind the powerful running of Trey St. Andre and an incredible defensive effort led by Tyler Harmon, Corey Vizina, Josh Benoit, and Brenten Lanthier, the Iota Bulldogs thoroughly dominated the Vinton Lions by a score of 34-0.
St. Andre had a coming out party of sorts, rushing for 224 yards as the Bulldogs gashed the Vinton defense for 422 yards of total offense. If not for a couple of runs, including a highlight-film 37-yard run in which he broke a tackle with a beautiful 360 move, that were called back on penalties, St. Andre may have have flirted with a 300-yard night.
About the only negatives for Iota Friday were two injuries, and six key turnovers and twelve penalties which ended drives which could have made the final score much higher. In fact, Iota didn’t punt the ball once all night.
“We had a bunch of penalties and turnovers and we’ve got to clean that up,” said Iota head coach Marcus LeJeune. “But we had eleven of our younger guys in key positions play tonight and they gained some valuable experience.
A couple of key players, running back John Simar and defensive end Corey Vizina suffered injuries. Vizina’s injury seemed to be the more serious of the two as he suffered a knee injury and had to be helped off the field without putting any weight on his leg.
“John had a shoulder injury and Corey had a knee injury towards the end of the game,” said LeJeune. “I can’t comment definitively on those until they’ve been looked at by a doctor.”
However, on the Iota sideline most of the talk was about St. Andre’s incredible night, which was in no small part aided by some great blocking by the Iota offensive line. Terry Bushnell had several key blocks as well as playing a leadership role in keeping his team fired up while the defense was on the field.
“We had a good week of practice this week,” said LeJeune. “And it carried over into tonight.”
On Iota’s second drive, it became evident that Iota was simply going to pound the ball against Vinton’s overmatched defensive line. St. Andre ran the ball five straight times culminating in a 6-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a lead they would never come close to relinquishing.
Vinton head coach Wendell LeJeune, classy in defeat, had nothing but praise for the Bulldogs.
“Their defense was just too much for us tonight,” he said. “They are a good, solid football team that I have a lot of respect for. Their head coach is a class act and his players stick to their assignments.”
When asked about the running of St. Andre, he simply smiled and stated “that kid is something. He is really hard to bring down.”
“But I’m very proud of our team,” he continued. “We had 13 kids on the field who had never played a down on a Friday night. They never gave up. It was a clean effort by both teams.”
After St. Andre scored Iota’s first three touchdowns, fullback Ethan Navarre, who rushed for 57 yards on only three carries, busted up the middle for a 37-yard touchdown with 1:46 to go in the third quarter. After recovering a Vinton fumble, St. Andre was at it again, scoring on a 37-yard run to make the score 31-0. A 35-yard Brett Broussard field goal completed the scoring.
The Iota defense was in the face of Vinton quarterbacks Kelby Hebert and Dylan Boudreaux all night. Led by Tyler Harmon’s 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks by Lanthier, Vinton was never able to mount a serious drive during the entire game.
The final statistics reflect the dominance of the Bulldogs on this evening. In total offense, Iota compiled 422 yards - all on the ground - while Vinton gained a mere 68, most of which was gained after Iota pulled most of their starters.
The Bulldogs travel to Eunice next week to play St. Edmunds in what should be a step up in competition.