By Watson Cook
The IA Colonels opened the 2012 football season in grand fashion with a 40-0 win at home over Bayou Academy.
IA used a solid running game that produced 327 of the 443 yards of total offense, and delivered the first punch early as junior RB/LB Dalton Sykes returned the opening kick 72 yards for a touchdown. Junior RB/DE Tristan Tackett punched in the 2-point conversion and the Colonels led 8-0 merely ten seconds into the game. The Colonel defense, which swarmed to the ball all night, and limited Bayou to only 99 yards of offense, recovered a fumble on Bayou’s first possession at the IA 40. Five plays later, senior QB/LB Trey Roberson reached paydirt on a quarterback keeper from 6 yards out. Sophomore QB Jonathan Holland found junior WR/DB Hunter Vance wide open in the end zone for the 2-point conversion and put the Colonels up 16-0 with 6:55 to play in the first quarter. Following an exchange of punts, the Colts looked to be getting back into the game, driving deep in Colonel territory. However, sophomore RB/DB Wheeler Timbs picked off a pass near the goal line and returned it to the Colonel 8 yard line, ending the threat. IA wasted little time adding to the lead as minutes into the second quarter, junior RB/LB Michael Sykes barreled his way into the end zone from one yard out to put the Colonels up 22-0. The extra point try was unsuccessful. The defense was able to halt the following Colt drive thanks to a Tackett sack that resulted in a 9-yard loss from the Colonel 32 back to the 41. Three plays later, Bayou was forced to punt, giving IA one more opportunity to pad the lead before the half. The Colonels did just that, driving 80 yards on 8 plays, capped by junior RB/LB Ashton Knight’s 3-yard touchdown run with :45 left in the half. The PAT failed again and the Colonels took a 28-0 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter proved to be sloppy as both teams seemed to be going through the motions. The Colonels and Colts each exchanged fumbles and punts in the quarter with neither team able to reach the end zone. Bayou turned the ball over on downs with 1:23 left in the quarter. The Colonels took over at their own 20 and drove to the Colt 28 as the quarter expired. Three plays into the fourth quarter M. Sykes scored on a 14-yard run, his second TD of the night, putting the Colonels up 34-0 (PAT no good). Following another Colt turnover on downs, Timbs gave the home crowd one final thrill with an explosive 55-yard TD run with 3:12 remaining in the game to make the final margin 40-0.
Offensively, the Colonels gained 443 yards of total offense with 116 coming through the air and 327 on the ground. Roberson finished 1-3, 24 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT and also had 3 carries, 63 yards and a TD. Holland was 6-7, 0 TD, 0 INT in his high school debut. He added 3 carries, 34 yards. Timbs racked up 85 yards on 4 carries, including a TD. D. Sykes added 46 yards on 5 carries. Knight finished with 5 carries, 38 yards. M. Sykes gained 28 yards on 4 carries, including 2 TD’s. Junior WR/DB Tristan Knight had 1 carry for 7 yards.
Defensively, M. Sykes led the charge with 14 total tackles (5 solo). D. Sykes had 13 total tackles (2 solo). Senior DT Samuel Rose finished with 9 total tackles (6 solo). Junior LB Andrew Garrett tallied 8 total tackles (2 solo) and a fumble recovery. Tackett finished with 8 total tackles (3 solo) and a sack.
Indianola Academy is 6-1 in season openers under head coach Tommy Nester. The Colonels will travel to Clarksdale Friday, August 24 to take on Lee Academy, who dropped their opener to North Delta 24-13. The Colonels will be looking to avenge an 18-6 loss to Lee last year at Legion Field. Kickoff is set for 7:00.