When it's a parish rivalry, always throw the records out of the window.
On paper, it looked like a huge mismatch between East Ascension and Dutchtown last Friday night.
The Spartans were coming in undefeated and ranked third, and Dutchtown was fresh off of a 34-6 defeat to Lutcher--a team East Ascension beat by 18 in the season opener.
But when it's a parish rivalry, always throw the records out of the window.
They may have been outmatched talent wise, but the Griffins found ways to stay within striking distance for much of the game. But in the end, the Spartans just made more plays.
In the second half, they were able to pull away with a 37-23 victory.
"There are so many great teams in our parish," East Ascension head coach Darnell Lee said. "Any time you play St. Amant and Dutchtown, it's all the same. You know what you're gonna get. Guys are gonna play hard, there's gonna be a lot of respect and class, and it's gonna be a great game."
It was actually the Griffins that stuck first.
Their offense was shut out the previous week, but on their first play of the game, quarterback Drelon' Monroe got the ball out to Jordan Jackson on a screen, and Jackson blazed 84 yards untouched to give Dutchtown a quick 7-0 lead.
East Ascension scored on their next drive, but the Griffins made them work. They drove 73 yards in 11 plays and tied the game on a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jason Wakefield.
Bizarrely, each team then exchanged safeties, and they came the exact same way: errant snaps that went over their punters' heads and into the end zone.
With the game tied 9-9 late in the first half, Wakefield scored on a 15-yard option-keeper to give the Spartans the lead.
However, Terry Matthews returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to tie the game at 16 for halftime.
It looked like East Ascension was ready to take control in the third.
First, they put together a five-play, 43-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown connection between Wakefield and Jyrin Johnson.
Then, to end the quarter, they drove 61 yards in seven plays. They took their biggest lead at 30-16 with a beautiful 20-yard jump-ball touchdown grab by Steven McBride.
But Dutchtown wouldn't go away.
Midway through the fourth, they took over at the East Ascension 36 after a short punt. On their first play, Monroe hit Mathews down the sideline for a score to cut the deficit in half.
But once again, the Spartans had the answer, and this time, it was the backbreaker.
East Ascension took their ensuing possession at their own 37-yard line. On their first play, Evan Copeland got the handoff, broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and then sprinted down the sideline for a 63-yard touchdown to ice the game.
Copeland finished with 86 yards and the score on just seven carries. Ethan Bagwell added 66 yards on the ground.
Wakefield went 18-28 for 191 yards with two touchdowns. He also added two scores rushing.
"We came out offensively, put together a drive and punched it in," Lee said. "The defense made a stop and gave us another opportunity. That's how you win: You make stops, and you score points. I feel like we settled down a little more in the second half offensively. We took what was there and didn't try to force it. The running game came alive a little bit, and I think we wore them down a little bit up front."
For Dutchtown, Monroe went 12 of 26 for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
But due to the Griffins finishing with negative 19 yards rushing, they had just 160 total yards.
"Our defensive players play with a lot of passion," Lee said. "You have guys back like Deshon Hall and Stanford Knockum that are three-year starters. We have a group with great chemistry. I'm proud of the way they fought for four quarters. They never give up, regardless of the situation. We have to do a better job offensively of not putting them in tough situations.."
The second straight loss dropped Dutchtown to 3-3 overall. As for East Ascension, they improved to a perfect 6-0.
This week, Dutchtown will hit the road to face parish foe St. Amant. The Spartans will visit Broadmoor.