In a game that saw eight lead changes, the Bulldogs had seemingly all but won their first game.
Then, on second-and-10, with about 40 seconds left in the game, Zack Brady drilled a pass to Matt Trahan for 75 yards for the game winning touchdown for the Knights.
The final score was as heartbreaking for Iota as the final two minutes, 25-24. One point and one minute away from victory.
South Beauregard improved to 2-2 on the season, while Iota fell to 0-4. Still, the record isn’t everything as Head Coach Neal Legé has been thoroughly impressed with his team’s effort in the last two games.
“I’m seeing things in my kids right now that are great,” he said. “They are playing so hard.”
One play did not change the outcome of the game, according to Legé, but it didn’t take the sting out of that final touchdown play.
“This one hurt more than any of them,” he said. “We had the score late, but then we let them go right back. But that last one (play) hurts.
“It’s a stinger, because we had these guys beat, and we let them go right back and score. They did the same thing last year.”
South Beauregard defeated Iota last season by a score of 30-28 and big plays were the story in that game as well.
And Iota had several chances throughout the game, but cost itself opportunities to move the ball and/or score, but penalties and turnovers hurt those chances. But South Beauregard didn’t play the perfect game either.
“We just pick inopportune times to make mistakes,” said Legé, “like that play at the end … or a blocked punt here or a turnover over there. We’re making bad decisions some plays that are putting us in bind.
Iota finished the night with 12 penalties for 67 yards, which included three consecutive false start penalties deep in its own territory; that was coupled with a blocked punt by the Knights and gave South Beauregard six points.
On the other side, South Beauregard committed 13 penalties for 110 yards, which backed the Knights out of scoring opportunities, either by forcing the Knights to settle for field goals or by taking them out of scoring range completely.
The Bulldogs defense also had a lot to do with the close game as the Bulldogs held South Beauregard to under 300 total yards, and excluding the 75-yard touchdown toward the end of the game, Iota kept the Knights well in check. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, that one big play would be the game winner for South Beauregard.
“They had a good night outside of the big play,” said Legé.
Iota’s offense also found big success against South Beauregard, rushing for 225 yards and throwing for 30 more. The Bulldogs touchdown drives had one thing in common, Iota moving the ball seemingly at will against the Knights.
“We had a good night running and we’re getting better,” said Legé. “We just have to figure out how to make that one play to get us over the hump and win a game.”
It was an example of, despite a few miscues, Iota finally getting things together, a good sign moving forward, but just not enough Friday night.
And what the final score also doesn’t show, just how quiet the first half was.
In the first quarter, the Iota defense stood strong in the red zone and stopped the Knights from scoring a touchdown. Instead, South Beauregard settled for a 29 yard field goal by the foot of Zach Ellender, concluding a nine-play, four minute, 40 second drive that started on the Knights’ 40 yard line.
But Iota would answer in the second quarter, driving 77 yards in six minutes and 14 seconds and netting six points for the visiting Bulldogs. The touchdown came in the air when Timothy Lunson connected from eight yards out with Thomas Murrell.
The score would remain 6-3 at halftime in favor of the Bulldogs.
Coming out of the half, however, was a whole different story. The scoreboard would light up on both sides as Iota would score a total of 18 more points and South Beauregard would pick up 22 more points.
First up were the Knights, who on a very short field of four yards, punched the ball in from one yard out with Joe Ledet with five minutes and nine seconds remaining in the third. The short drive took one minute and two seconds off the clock in three plays. Just like that, the Knights were up 9-6 on Homecoming night.
Iota would waste little time in answering. One minute and eight seconds later, Murrell’s five yard rush concluded a two-play drive. The short field for Iota was thanks to Tyler Prejean going 86 yards and being stopped just outside of the endzone on the kickoff return.
The fourth quarter would again be a track meet, starting with a 23 yard field goal with 9:27 remaining in the game. It was another example of Iota’s defense refusing to give up a touchdown. The scoring drive began for the Knights started in the third quarter on the 26 yard line; 13 plays and six minutes and 32 seconds later, though, South Beauregard had tied the feisty Bulldogs.
Iota would again answer. On a drive that started on the Iota 49 yard line, the Bulldogs began to drive for another go-ahead touchdown. Four minutes, nine seconds and 51 yards later, Brandon Fantroy’s 18 yard run was capping off the 10-play drive.
The Knights would not be outdone, though. On a methodical drive that lasted just over three minutes, South Beauregard quarterback Zack Brady aired out a 20 yard pass to Kelly Courville. The drive took six plays to move 54 yards.
The South Beauregard fans were convinced it was game winner, but in four plays, Iota had answered. It took only one minute and five seconds for the Bulldogs to move 56 yards, but 43 came from Fantroy’s 43 yard run.
The crowd was silenced, but only briefly as a swift two plays and 26 seconds later, the Knights had drew ahead with Brady hooked up with Trahan on the 75 yard sideline route.
White not over, the game essentially had met its end. The crowd went wild as they saw the home team pull away, barely slip past Iota.
For the game, Iota saw Murrell’s 18 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown and Fantroy’s 16 carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns comprise a bulk of the offense. Murrell would add two receptions for 16 yards and another touchdown to his stats and Fantroy would add a 14 yard catch.
Lunson would finish the night with three completions on seven attempts for 30 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
In a winning effort, the Knights would see Ledet boast 88 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Trahan would end the night with only two catches but would net 85 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Courville would add a 20 yard reception and Pryce Fontenot would add three catches for 42 yards.
Brady would finish with 10 completions on 14 attempts for 170 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.