Strong first half lifts Wildcats past Bulldogs
By Howell Dennis
LSN STAFF WRITER
LEROY – Behind the running of Tony Boudreaux and a staunch defense led by Akeem Lewis, the Abbeville Wildcats defeated the Iota Bulldogs 28-14 in jamboree action at North Vermilion High School Friday night.
The Bulldogs, who lost the majority of their skill position players from last season and had their scrimmage cancelled last week, seemed to be tinkering with their lineup to find a chemistry which they were unable to do last week.
“We learned a lot about ourselves tonight,” said Iota head coach Marcus LeJeune who led the Bulldogs to the playoffs last season behind the experienced combo of quarterback Chad Abshire and leading rusher Blaise LeJeune. “Not having a scrimmage definitely hurt us.”
Abbeville struck first starting with a 50-yard pass play from quarterback R.J. Frederick to Brandon Trahan which set up a 15-yard touchdown run by Wildcat running back Gerald Minnick.
Following the Wildcat touchdown, Iota’s Brett Broussard returned the kickoff 85 yards to bring the Bulldogs to within Abbeville 15-yard line. However, Broussard fumbled the ball two plays later to give the ball back to the Wildcats.
Abbeville wasted little time taking advantage of the turnover as Boudreaux broke a tackle and out ran the Iota defense for an 81-yard score giving the Wildcats a 14-0 lead.
“Those guys have some great athletes,” said LeJeune. “They just wore us out early.”
Iota, however did make a game of it with 7:30 to go in the first half, scoring on an 81-yard kickoff return by John Simar, who started the game at quarterback for the Bulldogs. Simar also played extensively on defense as well.
However, an R.J. Frederick pass to Delantrick Fields with 1:31 to go in the first half gave the Wildcats a 20-7 halftime lead following a missed two-point conversion attempt.
The teams traded possessions at the beginning of the second half before Iota, who switched to quarterback Ben Thevis at halftime, mounted an impressive drive punctuated by Trey St. Andre’s 6-yard touchdown run bringing the Bulldogs back to within a score of the Wildcats. Iota may have found something in St. Andre who made several impressive runs including a 35-yard run in the first half in which he broke several tackles. He ended up leading the Bulldogs in rushing with 71 yards on 16 carries.
“Trey ran really hard for us tonight,” said LeJeune. “We’re just not where we want to be yet.”
One player who gave the Bulldog offense fits was Abbeville defensive tackle Akeem Lewis who made several impressive tackles including a near sack on Thevis which led to an intentional grounding penalty.
A 65-yard screen pass from Frederick to Brandon Trahan gave the Wildcats a 28-14 lead which ended the Bulldog hopes.
“We fought hard tonight and I can’t complain about that,” said LeJeune. “We just have to correct our mistakes and get ready for Vinton next week.”
The Bulldogs had a total of 124 yards of offense compared to 343 yards by the Wildcats. Frederick had an impressive night throwing the ball as he passed for 194 yards on only six completions. Brandon Trahan caught two passes for 112 yards and a touchdown with Delantrick Fields receiving two passes for 72 yards to lead the Wildcat aerial assault. Tony Boudreaux rushed for 87 yards on 7 carries with most of it coming on his touchdown run.
Both teams moved down a division this year with Iota moving from Class AAA to AA and Abbeville moving down from Class AAAA to AAA.