IOTA, LA (KPLC) - We’ve seen offenses carry teams to titles and heard the belief that defense wins championships. But for the undefeated Iota Bulldogs it’s been another phase of the game that has led to wins.
“Special teams is perfect for us. We work on it almost everyday of every week, it’s just a big part of the game for us”, said Iota quarterback Trae Rambin.
“We got some younger guys and it’s their chance to get on the field so they take advantage of everything. They give max effort on special teams and when you have special teams added to the offensive and defensive part of the game it’s like another advantage for you”, head coach Josh Andrus said.
Strong special teams paired with a defense that is only giving up 9 points a game in the playoffs has sparked the Bulldogs' first semifinal appearance in 16 years. It was the play of both units that led to the team’s quarterfinal victory against eight-seed North Webster.
“It was hard, our defense always comes up with big stops. Offense started off good but we slowed down a little bit during the game but it’s nothing for us we’ll come back”, Rambin said.
Up next for Iota is another team hailing from North Louisiana in the fourth-seeded Panthers of Sterlington. The Panthers rely on a heavy rushing attack led by junior Dallas Reagor who has rushed for over 2000 yards and 21 touchdowns this year. The Panthers were dominant in the first round, but tight contests followed against Church Point and Union Parish. Both games were decided by just one point.
“Sterlington is kind of similar to the teams we’ve played the last two rounds. They run a little bit different offense and different defense so we just have to make a couple adjustments for them and I think we’ll be alright”, Andrus said.
“They’re probably the best team we played so far. They’re fast on defense, they have some outside guys that are really fast, their lineman are pretty athletic”, said Rambin.
Being undefeated and the number one seed means everyone else is gunning for you. The Bulldogs understand that to make it to the Dome, it’ll be up to how Iota answers the bell Friday.
“We always stress it’s all about us and to worry about us getting better each week. We’ve stepped up to the challenge the first couple of rounds so I feel we’ll do the same thing this week”, Andrus said.