The Bears seemed unstoppable, while the Bulldogs could not get anything going leading to a 26-0 win for Church Point.
“We’ll take it,” said Bears Head Coach J.C. Arceneaux. “It’s absolutely something to hang our hat on for the beginning of the season.”
The game was by no means perfect for Church Point, still the Bears had a lot to smile about Thursday night as the nightcap of the Acadia Jamboree came to a close.
For starters, the Bears spent a lot of time focusing on improving their passing game, which netted them two 58 yard passes and a total of 164 yards in the air Thursday night.
“That’s kind of been our focal point,” said Arceneaux. “We’ve predominantly been a run team so we’ve really focused on the pass.
“I guess we’ll have to go back and focus a little bit on the run because they did a good job stopping the run, but a lot of positives on the passing game.”
But even the running game saw good production for the Bears with 11 players totaling 133 yards on the ground.
The Bulldogs had big stops, especially on the ground early in the first and second halves, but still, it is a long way to go for Iota.
“When you don’t do the things you worked on all week, this is what happens,” said Bulldogs Head Coach Neal Legé.
Offensively, the Bulldogs could find no consistency following a positive play with a negative one, visibly frustrating everyone involved.
“I know we have young guys out there, but man, this is tough,” said Legé. “If we can’t focus on the things we need to, we’re going to have problems.”
But it wasn’t just Iota hurting itself offensively as Church Point had a good night defensively.
“We had six guys coming back for us this year on defense and we have a lot of experience there,” said Arceneaux. “We did a good job of stopping the run last year and we can see it carried over into this year.”
If the light shined brightly on one player all game, however, it was definitely Brandon Fantroy for the Bulldogs, and arguably for both teams.
Fantroy, who seemed to be literally everywhere on the field, picked up 48 yards on 12 carries on offense, had a touchdown saving tackle as well as good returns on punts and kicks.
“He’s not coming off the field, we have got to get more guys like that,” said Legé. “I challenged some of them at halftime ... for now it’s just back to the drawing board and get ready for Vinton.”
The senior spent the final three games of 2011 injured and appears to not only have picked up where he left off but elevated that play as well.
Outside of Fantroy, the offense producers were slim with four more Bulldogs registering rushing yards–Nick Sloane, two carries for eight yards; Timothy Lunson, two carries for two yards; Michael Thevis, one carry for one yard; and J.T. LeJeune, three carries for three yards. The Bulldogs also picked up two yards in the air with a pass from LeJeune to Thomas Murrell.
But for the positives, there were glaring negatives that Church Point capitalized on throughout the game.
Iota had two interceptions as well as four fumbles, one of which the Bulldogs lost to the Bears.
“We had some young players stepping out for the first time and Brett Richard had a nice interception and Deonta Lazrao led our team in interceptions last year so that was nothing untimely for him,” said Arceneaux.
The Bears, meanwhile, did not make those mistakes, fumbling only once and recovering their own fumble.
The quarterback, Jake Morvant, picked up 18 yards on the ground with his feet to add to the 156 he had in the air. Morvant would finish the night completing four of his 11 throws and throwing for a touchdown.
Surprisingly Morvant’s 33-yard bomb to Jyron Citizen late in the second half was the only touchdown the Bears hit from the air. The remaining three came from the ground.
In the first half, Church Point struck midway through with a one yard run in by Dexter Charles. The touchdown capped off a six play, 75 yard drive that took over three minutes off the clock. It was highlighted by one of Morvant’s two 58 yard passes, this one to Chance Roy.
The Bears wouldn’t waste time in striking again where, on their next possession, James Bellard’s 25 yard touchdown run was the first play from scrimmage following the Bears’ interception of LeJeune.
Church Point would not light up the scoreboard again until late in the second half, but there a four-play, 35 yard drive concluded with the Morvant to Citizen connection.
Church Point’s final touchdown also came on the ground, with roughly two minutes left in the game, Tyler Wheeler ran in from 29 yards out. The drive saw the Bears move 44 yards in four plays and one minute and thirty seconds, roughly.
Bellard would finish the night with four carries for 28 yards and a touchdown. Joining him in the box score were, among others, Deion Landry who had seven carries for 19 yards and Chance Roy were two receptions for 66 yards.
The Bears also had a solid night in the special teams section going two of four on Kian Richard’s PAT tries and averaging 27 yards on two Roy punts.
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, had three punts on the evening, two from the foot of Murrell for an average of 38.5 yards and one from Lunson for 32 yards.
The Bulldogs will open their season on the road Friday night against Vinton while the Bears will host Beau Chene.