Bears claim first victory at expense of parish/district rival Tigers

Tryve Brackin
North Iberville High quarterback Stephen Williams, left, and NI defensive end Decory Brown, right, had productive seasons on opposite sides of the football for the Bear grid team this season. NIHS topped East Iberville 40-6 Friday to end the season with their first victory.

North Iberville High claimed its first win of the 2008 prep football season in the final game of the season by romping to a home field 44-6 victory over parish/district rival East Iberville High.

The Bears finished the season with a 1-7 record, while EIHS closed with a 0-7 record and played only six games during the season due to forfeit of their District 9-A game with West St. John, a cancellation by opponent Acadiana Prep right before the season opened, and two Hurricane Gustav cancelled contest.

East drove down into scoring position on the first series of the game, but fumbled away the ball and it was returned by NIHS defensive standout Decory Brown 85 yards for the first touchdown of the game. The visiting Tigers scored in the first half on a 50-yard run by Brandon James, but did not tally again until the second half when James tossed a pair of TD passes. Much of the game the hosting Bears dominated the line of scrimmage on offense with their big line.

Senior running back Nikita Woolfolk led the NIHS Bear offensive attack with 180 yards and four touchdowns, his longest coming from 40 yards out. He scored the other three to cap drives by the Bears. Receiver Casey Toussaint and quarterback Stephen Williams connected on a 40-yard TD pass play as well. Darius Rowe and Lenard White backed Woolfolk by combining for almost 80 more rushing yards, according to Coach Ron Allen.

“We moved the ball consistently on the ground. Our line did a good job, especially senior Nate Pryer. It was good to finally get a victory so all the work could have some return, especially at home in front of the home fans,” commented Coach Allen.

The Bear mentor pointed to Brown, Rowe, and Tre’vion Hawkins as leaders on defense for the Bears.

James ended up leading the Tiger offensive attack with 125 yards rushing. He moved to quarterback for most of the second half and ended up passing for 115 yards. He connected with Gabe Schultz and Mitch Johnson for a pair of second half TD passes. “Gabe played his best game of the season and that was good to see because he has struggled with injuries the entire season. He had three big catches for the offense and he was solid on defense for us,” commented first-year Tiger mentor Jim Peyton.

The East coach said he was forced to play as many as four young, first-year players at times in the game in order to field a team. He also started Jonathan Belvin at quarterback, but had to move James to the position when his starter was hurt. Johnson also played out of position by starting the game at nose guard. “Mitch did a great job in the middle at nose guard during the early stages of the game,” noted Peyton.

The Tiger coach went on to say his young, out-numbered team could not stop the rushing attack of the Bears. “Number 23 (Woolfolk) ran up and down the field on us, especially in the second half,” said Coach Peyton.

The Bears drove down and into scoring position as the final seconds of the clock ticked off and NIHS “took a knee” on the final three snaps of the game, according to Peyton. “I want to say that Coach Allen and his kids have class for doing that. They were gentlemen who understood we were out-numbered, but played the game. That was a handshake to our kids at the end. I am proud of the boys who stuck with it all season long. We fell behind early in game experience with the storm and the cancellation. We had to get some young boys to come in and fill some spots, due to injuries and suspensions, and they did the best they could. And we had seniors like Gabe and Cedric (Bobo) who stuck it out to the very end,” noted Peyton.