St. Edmund cruises past Iota
IOTA – Controlling the line of scrimmage has long-since been a key item for football coaches, but if there ever was a game that displayed its importance, it was Friday night’s St. Edmund at Iota ballgame.
The Blue Jays controlled the line from moment one and shut out the Bulldogs, 26-0.
“They controlled the line of scrimmage and they shoved us around early,” said Iota Head Coach Marcus LeJeune. “They shoved us around all night and were getting seven to eight yards per play; we got beat, simple as that.”
St. Edmund entered the half up 20-0 with 191 yards total and 10 first downs. Iota on the other hand entered the half with total yards barely in the double digits and only one first down. It was not until 7:45 into the third quarter that Iota gained another first down. Iota would finish the night with four total first downs; St. Edmund had 18 by the end of the game.
“St. Edmund has a good football team, but we knew that going in,” said LeJeune.
The Bulldogs lone bright spot throughout the game was 103 return yards from Ryan Chapman, 50 of which came from the game’s opening kickoff.
Their second bright spot came in the second half when the Iota offense finally saw some positive yardage in both the passing and running games. Thomas Murrell, who had two interceptions in the first half, ended his night with 31 passing yards including a 21 yard pass to Jimmie Hillman in the fourth quarter.
“There is no question that we played hard, but we just couldn’t get anything established on offense early,” said LeJeune.
The game was dominated by St. Edmund in all facets by a balanced offensive attack. The Blue Jays leading rusher, Adam Wimberley, had 11 carries with a touchdown and starting quarterback Hunter Arnaud would spend the night spreading the ball around, going 17-21 with 190 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also carried the ball eight times for 44 yards.
It was, however, the third touchdown by St. Edmund, a fumble recovered in the end zone by Kevin McFarlain at the end of the second quarter, which would prove to be the touchdown that sealed the Bulldogs fate according to LeJeune.
“That last touchdown before halftime really took the wind out of sails,” he said. “If you’re down two scores with two quarters to play, it’s a bit of a different story.”
The Blue Jays had their fair share of issues as well with multiple fumbles; however, St. Edmund recovered all but one of their fumbles. The fumbles were among the missed opportunities for the Bulldogs.
Iota’s two interceptions early in the game also proved to be very costly. The Bulldogs’ two interceptions lead to St. Edmund’s first points and a fumble, respectively.
St. Edmund scored once in the first quarter on an eight yard pass from Arnaud to Andre Aguillard. It was a part of 10-play drive that began with an interception by Adam Clause.
Their two second quarter scores came at 4:37 and 12:00. The first was a 2 yard run by Wimberley after a 10 play drive and the second came after just three plays in the closing seconds of the half with a fumble recovery by McFarlain.
The Blue Jays final scoring drive was a 21 pass from Arnaud to LaFleur in the middle of the third.
“We made them drive the length of the field, which is what you want to do,” said LeJeune, “but you also want to stop them.”
Iota also watched two of their players exit the field and then onto stretchers. Senior Seth LaCombe was worked on by trainers on the bench before leaving on a stretcher with a knee injury in the first half. Reece Meyer, senior defensive end, was treated by trainers for dehydration and a concussion throughout halftime. He would also leave the game via stretcher early in the third quarter.
Chapman and Gavin Guidry had minor leg cramp issues late in the game.
Iota will look to return to their winning ways on their road debut next week.