The Bulldogs achieved that goal, defeating the Mamou Green Demons 35-6 Friday night and ending its season with a 4-6 record, 3-2 in district 5-2A play. The loss dropped Mamou to 2-8, 2-3.
“We wanted to come out and play hard for our seniors and finish on a positive note, we did that tonight,” said Iota Head Coach Neal Legé. “We left the seniors in there and let them enjoy the night and last game.”
On a night where the Bulldogs let their six senior plays play every down they could, the senior playmakers showed up. The night saw Iota’s leading rushing duo of Brandon Fantroy and Thomas Murrell end the night with 280 total yards. Fantroy’s night would end with 15 carries for 99 yards and three touchdowns and a reception for 39 yards; Murrell had 22 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns. In true form, the duo each also had big runs on the night with Fantroy’s longest run going for 34 yards and Murrell’s going for 35 yards.
As the two ended their careers with the Bulldogs, Fantroy concludes the season with 188 carries for 1077 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground and 14 receptions for 329 yards and three touchdowns (totaling 1406 yards and 20 touchdowns) this season. Murrell, meanwhile, had 156 carries for 886 yards and eight touchdowns and added six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown (totaling 957 yards).
Despite a few hiccups throughout the game, Iota has much to hang its hat on from its final game of the season. The Bulldogs offense executed well, scoring on its first three possessions en route to its five touchdowns on the night.
“We did pretty well and we were pleased with all the guys out there,” said Legé.
Even as Mamou’s defense seemed to adjust to Iota’s rushing attack, the Bulldogs managed to add to the scoreboard.
But the tempo was set on those first three drives. Iota would march down the field 65 yards, 53 yards and 59 yards, respectively. The Bulldogs’ scoring drives would not take long, either, taking a combined 20 plays and seven minutes and 16 seconds. But, the real similarity was Iota running the ball at will on the Green Demons.
Iota’s defense also had a showcase night, while they allowed 239 total yards of offense (170 passing, 69 rushing), it also pitched a three-quarter shutout and picked off Green Demons’ quarterback Ben Israel four times, including two in the end zone. Those interceptions would be crucial to keeping Iota firmly in the lead.
“[Mamou’s] quarterback does a really good job of throwing the ball and their receivers run good routes, we had to adjust in the second half, play more aggressive, and we did,” said Legé; “and with two of those interceptions being in the end zone that was key. If those are scores, this game is totally different. So they were big interceptions.”
Samuel Reed’s two interceptions (one at the Demon 37 yard line, the other in the end zone) in the first half were matched in the second half by Timothy Lunson’s interceptions at the Iota 44 yard line and the end zone, respectively.
In a losing effort, Israel would finish the night 17-of-36 for 170 yards with four interceptions for the Demons. He would add 28 yards on two carries to that total. Seth Cortinez (six receptions for 72 yards) and Oshermaine Thomas (four carries for 50 yards) led the receiving game. Dillon Holland’s three yard touchdown in the second quarter would add to his total of eight yards on three carries. Daniel Matthews would lead all rushers with 29 yards on nine carries.
For the Bulldogs, Timothy Lunson would end his night 2-for-6 for 59 yards and JT LeJeune would complete his only attempt to Reed for 37 yards. Kyle Smith’s one reception for 20 yards rounded out all receivers on the night.
To end their season, the duo of quarterbacks netted Iota 561 yards in the air, going a combined 30-for-84 with five touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Bulldogs would end the game with 334 yards of total offense and would only be forced to punt twice and turned the ball over only once.