Iota set for Thursday night clash with Lake Arthur
Coach Josh Andrus’ team is off to an impressive start in 2017 with blowout victories against Basile and Oakdale in his first two games. And Iota’s fan base has been abuzz about the Bulldogs’ start after some recent rough seasons.
However, he has noticed something different about this year’s squad.
“In previous years, our guys would enjoy wins a little too much,” he said. “This year’s group is back at it practicing hard right away.’”
With a tough Lake Arthur team coming in fresh off a 34-6 dismantling of Pickering in their first game of the season (their game against Elton was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Harvey), Andrus is anticipating a tough contest.
“Their probably a bit better than the previous two teams we’ve faced,” said Andrus of the Tigers who will be coming to Bulldog Stadium for Iota’s first home game of 2017. “They run a spread offense that is run oriented. And they have some big linemen on both sides of the ball that they rotate to keep them fresh.”
Andrus has also noticed the speed of this year’s Tiger squad.
“Their skill players have a little more speed than they usually have,” he said. “They also run a 4-2-5 defense that is also big up front.
“We have our work cut out for us.”
One thing the Bulldogs have is Acadia Parish leading rusher, Kaleb Guillory. Guillory rushed for 204 yards against Oakdale and 174 yards against Oakdale the week before that.
However, this year Iota is far from one dimensional.
Quarterback Trae Rambin has played his role nicely with roll out passes and an occasional running play to keep the defense honest. Wide receivers Tyrone Charlot (who has also excelled on defense and special teams), Brett Clay and Hunter Andrus have each been solid. And Kolin Andrus, Kaleb’s younger brother, has shown that the cupboard will not be bare when his older brother graduates next year. Charlot also had a punt return for a touchdown against Oakdale last week.
The Bulldog starting defense has been strong pitching shutouts until the games have no longer been in doubt and the second unit comes in. Linebackers Levi Manuel and Kalem Johnson have spent much of their time in opponent’s backfields, making sacks and tackles behind the line. Manuel’s penchant for timing the snap has become a headache for Iota’s opponents in 2017. Charlot and Clay each have had game changing interceptions the past two weeks.
One starting defensive player who will be held out this week if not longer will be Christopher Newman who left Fridays game with a knee injury. Coach Andrus said they are still awaiting the results of an MRI before any decisions will be made regarding his return.
Still, Andrus is happy with his team’s play so far.
“I feel good (about this team),” he said. “And it will be nice to be playing in front of the home crowd for he first time this year.”
However, this week’s opponent may provide them with their biggest test so far this season.
Next week the Bulldogs will play their first game against a 5-3A opponent when they travel to Prairie Rhonde to take on the Northwest Raiders in the league opener for both teams.