Outnumbered Tigers struggle to get good field position in lopsided opening loss to 3-A Baker

Tryve Brackin
A KEY LOSS…Senior standout running back Greg Pickett was lost for a few football games to the East Iberville High Tigers due to a shoulder injury suffered in the team’s recent jamboree game. Pickett also is a standout basketball player and high jumper in track and field. Without Pickett, the Tigers suffered a lopsided 57-0 loss Friday to 3-A Baker High

Outnumbered by kickoff by Class 3-A Baker High, the 1-A hosting East Iberville High Tigers struggled mightily to get the pigskin on the opponents’ side of the field and provided plenty of opportunities in a 57-0 loss last Friday in St. Gabriel.

“We were outnumbered by a three-A football team and we gave them every opportunity to score. Too many mistakes and poor field position hurt us from start to finish,” explained Coach Kelsy Dotson Saturday.

The Tiger coach said he continues to build the gridiron program at the high school through the middle school feeder program and participation by students from the Math, Science, and Arts East Academy, but numbers remain low. “We are a small school and we lost a lot of athletic talent to graduation. This is definitely a rebuilding season with some young players for us. And it showed last night,” explained Dotson.

The Tigers fumbled and lost the football at least seven times recalled Dotson. “We could never get on track. They blocked a kick early in the game and went right in to score. And, we continued to give them the football inside our 30 the rest of the game. They really did not mount a lot of offensive yards on us because we kept giving the ball to them in our territory,” noted the Tiger mentor.

The EIHS coach said his offense had only limited success moving the football and several times short drives were ended by fumble losses.

“They blitzed in on us and our young line could not hold them. We need to work on our kicking game, but a lot of our troubles are with our inexperience up front. Our quarterback is young, but he had little opportunity to do anything,” noted Dotson.

The Tigers had a handful of positive gains in the game with Nicholas Brooks and Andre Wright breaking free for a few solid pickups, but often attempted drives ended in turnovers and quick scores for Baker.

Dotson complimented the effort of his linemen, but at the same time pointed to their lack of varsity experience. The only Tiger veteran up front is senior Marlon Stewart. Trevon Daniels also is a senior, but one with limited experience. So too is sophomore center and defensive end Adrian Cummings, whom Coach Dotson complimented for having the best leadership effort on the club in the opener. The rest of the line is made up of ninth grader Reggie Brock at tackle and Coach Dotson’s son, Kevin Dotson, who is an eighth grader at MSA East.

“Overall our defense played better than the score indicated. We could not move the ball and made too many mistakes to allow Baker to have all the field position the entire game,” said Dotson.

The EIHS coach said the players and coaching staff go back to work in preparation for a trip to Baton Rouge tomorrow (Friday) night to play hosting 2-A Dunham School. “We have a lot of work to do, but Dunham is at least a bit closer to us in experience and numbers. We will show up and give it our best. Looking down the line the struggles now for our young players is building toward better efforts this season and in future seasons,” noted the Tiger mentor.

Dunham, a victor last year over EIHS, beat Opelousas CHS last week by a 35-12 score and should be a tough foe for the Tigers, but if the Tigers can cut down on their turnovers they should be able to make a better showing of it tomorrow evening.

Dotson announced a 20-year reunion for East Iberville High School Saturday evening, Sept. 25, in the school’s gymnasium, beginning tentatively around the 6-7 p.m. time. Iberville Parish closed down Sunshine High School in 1990-91 when the new EIHS facility was built.