Bulldogs pound Bearcats
BASILE - On a hot afternoon in game that saw multiple players from both teams leave due to cramping issues, the Iota High Bulldogs dominated the Basile Bearcats by a score of 40-7.
Behind the rushing of Kaleb Guillory and the timely passing of Trae Rambin the Bulldogs jumped out to a 19-0 halftime lead and the result was never in doubt.
The Bulldog defense, led by Levi Manual, Kalen Johnson and a beautiful Brett Clay interception kept the Bearcats out of the endzone for most of the game. Tyrone Ceasar’s 50-yard run with 1:43 remaining in the game kept it from being a shutout.
The teams began the game by exchanging stalled drives. It was obvious from the start that Guillory was playing inspired ball but a couple of holding calls against the Bulldogs hurt them in the opening quarter, which ended with both teams being knotted up 0-0.
The Bulldog assault began in the second quarter when Rambin threw a 14-yard pass to Michael Renfro with 8:36 remaining.
With the Bearcats (most of whom play both ways) becoming noticeably winded, the Iota offensive line began to push the Basile defense around as the Kaleb Guillory show began.
On one particularly impressive 14-yard run in the second quarter, Guillory ran behind offensive lineman Garrett Broussad, who pancaked two Basile defenders as Guillory shed two others who were trying to catch him from behind.
Guillory ran for a nine-yard touchdown with 5:48 to go and added another 4-yarder right before the end of the first half.
At the start of the second half, it was as though a plague had hit the field with multiple players on each team cramping up after nearly every play.
“It was rough today for the boys on both sides of the field,” said Bulldog Coach Josh Andrus. “When you don’t get to practice then play in these hot conditions it will take its toll.”
Rambin played for a short while before he dropped to the ground with severe leg cramps. Gavin Vidrine stepped in nicely for the Bulldogs, tossing a very nice 12-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Charlot, who had another touchdown rushing, with 5:48 remaining in the third.
Guillory had some impressive runs in the second half before he cramped up. Though his didn’t look to be as severe as many of the other players and with the game no longer in doubt, Andrus decided to rest his star running back. He finished with 22 rushes for 174.
The fourth quarter was a test of endurance with Iota playing its second stringers. The Bearcats smaller roster didn’t afford them that luxury and at times it appeared as though some of their players were barely able to walk to the defensive huddle following a play.
When the clock ran out, both coaches seemed relieved to put the game behind them.
“Our boys played very hard today,” said Andrus after the game. “It wasn’t always pretty but we did what we had to do to get the win.”
What may not have seemed that pretty looked beautiful to many Iota fans, most of whom were sunburned after nearly three hours on the shade-challenged visitors sideline. A longtime Bulldog fan said it was “many years since the last time he had seen his team win in such convincing fashion.”
The Iota Bulldogs next play at Oakdale High School on Friday night.
• Clay and Charlot each quietly had fine games. Clay, who also plays wide receiver, added two catches for 50 yards to his interception.
• The Bulldogs outgained the Bearcats by gaining 364 yards to their 81.
• It was quite a homefield advantage for the Bearcats. The sun was setting directly behind the stands where the Bulldog faithful sat, keeping them and the entire Bearcat team in the shade while Iota’s team and fans watched the game staring right into the sunlight.
On this afternoon, however, it made no difference as the Bulldog followers went home with the tans and the win.