THE POST-SIGNAL / D. Sexton
Iota’s Andrew Ashby returns a kickoff last week during the Bulldogs’ 18-7 District 5-3A loss to Northwest. The Bulldogs will close out the regular season this Friday with another league contest at Mamou. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Green Demon Stadium.
Bulldogs close out regular season at Mamou
After last week's upset loss to the Northwest Raiders, Iota coach Josh Andrus said his team "had lost their mental focus." He added that the Bulldogs practices this week would be dedicated to regaining the mindset that led the team to a 6-0 record to start the season.
"We havent just lost our focus on Friday nights," he said. "It's also been happening from Monday through Thursday in practice."
With the regular season finale Friday against coach Barry Marton's much-improved Mamou Demon squad, focus better be an aspect of the game that the Bulldogs are capable of regaining quickly. Marton has taken a team that was 0-10 in 2010 and brought them to one win away at finishing with a .500 record.
The Demons have lost their past two games decisively to Church Point and Northwest. However, the score Iota fans may want to take note of is the Demon's 24-20 victory over Ville Platte. The Demons scored eight fourth quarter points in a comeback victory behind the running of Raylon Anderson and Justin Fontenot.
Three weeks ago the Bulldogs required a last second stop on a Ville Platte two-point conversion attempt to preserve a 13-12 victory. And after their worst performance of the season last week versus the Raiders, the Bulldogs should not take anything for granted with their playoff seeding on the line.
"We just haven’t been ourselves lately," said Andrus.
The return of starting quarterback Dawson Wallace, who played admirably at times, didn't provide the spark that had been missing from the Bulldog offense in recent weeks. The teams offensive line was at times overpowered by a quick Northwest defensive front resulting in several sacks. And with the first play of many drives resulting in 2nd and 18 to 20 yards, not even powerful running back Luke Doucet could bail them out of such difficult situations.
Adding to the pressure, the Bulldogs will be facing is a lower leg injury to Landon Doucet, who is a playmaker on both offense and defense. His absence means that Bulldogs on both sides of the ball will have to step it up.
What was surprising was that the Iota defense had their first bad game of the year last week after a string of great performances. However, much of that was due to the running and passing of Northwest starting quarterback Montaze Sam, who may be District 5-3A's top quarterback. Hopefully, for the Bulldogs and their normally dominant defensive line, Friday will be an opportunity to show that the Northwest game was merely an aberration.
And for Andrus' Bulldogs, they hope to show that their recent slump has been an aberration as well.
As well as a simple case of loss of focus.
The Bulldogs game against Mamou kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. at Mamou High School.