“He became a lot smarter tonight. He is an athlete and we knew he could pretty much do whatever he wanted. Tonight, he grew up a lot.”
Cormier made his mark early with a pair of mammoth runs and scored three times in the first half.
On his second touch, Cormier broke a tackle 15-yards downfield and raced for a 64-yard score with 5:32 left in the first quarter for a 6-3 lead.
Less than 3 minutes later, Cormier’s offensive line made a huge hole on the right side, and he took it in from 44 yards out untouched to put the Bulldogs (1-1) up 12-3. He added a 1 yard TD with 5:10 left in the second quarter that capped a 68-yard, 15-play drive for a 20-10 lead.
St. Louis (1-0), which scored a stunning 50-13 victory at Crowley last week, recovered two onside kicks, including one to open the second half but couldn’t capitalize on either. The first one in the opening quarter ended on a missed field goal attempt, and the second turned into a fumble recovered by Iota linebacker Dayton Boone.
“We talked about it all week that I like to take chances,” St. Louis head coach Brock Matherne said. “They know how I am.
“I am a high-energy guy, and I want a lot of energy on our team. I believe with these big plays we can create on special teams gives us that. At the end of the day, it was going to come down to who executed on third down, and they executed when it mattered and we didn’t.”
St. Louis controlled the clock early, holding the ball for the first 5 minutes, but the Saints managed a 32-yard field goal by Spencer Briley.
“We had multiple opportunities at the beginning of the game to get ahead and we didn’t take advantage of it,” Matherne said. “It is a lesson that we have to learn, and we have to move forward with it.”
The Saints got their offense going in the second quarter with a 1-yard score by running back Kyle Turner.
After falling behind 20-10, St. Louis put together a 63-yard drive thanks to a timely 13-yard catch by Marcus Duhon to convert a third-and-8 to the Bulldogs’ 13-yard line. Duhon finished it off with an 8-yard touchdown reception with 42 seconds left in the half to cut Iota’s lead to 20-17.