Spartans’ offense held out of end zone in Lutcher romp

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Avery Williams follows Troy Gautreau’s blocking of Lutcher’s Joshua Boudreaux and Charles Williams for a 12-yard gain in the third quarter Friday night. Williams had a game-high 112 yards on 23 carries in the Spartans’ 41-6 loss.

LUTCHER - East Ascension’s Matt Richard returned an interception for a touchdown to cut Lutcher’s lead to 20-6 just before halftime but the Bulldogs scored 21 unanswered points in the second half on way to a 41-6 non-district victory Friday night at The Dog Yard.

“I saw some fight from everybody tonight,” East Ascension head coach John Lambert said. “I can’t say enough about the effort of this football team. We played hard till the end and that is important. You can’t lose faith. We have to believe.

“It gave  us a little bit of momentum when Matt Richard stepped in front of that interception. We did some things right tonight. There is no doubt about that. We ran the ball effectively for the first time this year. That is what we were looking for and I think we found something tonight. Our tailback Avery Williams, I know that young man just gave me everything he had to give.”

Williams rushed for a game-high 112 yards on 23 carries to lead the East Ascension (0-3) ground attack.

Lutcher (2-1) scored on their first two possessions and also returned a punt and interception for touchdowns.

“Tonight, I felt we finished  the play,” Lutcher head coach Tim Detillier said. “We finished the drive. We went back to the basics at halftime. The first possession of the second half, we have been awful all year and we think that is the most important possession of the game. Tonight we scored and it got called but we changed field position and that is what counts.”

Lutcher drove 80 yards in eight plays on the second possession, capped by Gavin Webster 7-yard pass to Jarvis Landry who dived to the left pylon. Daniel Taylor’s 17-yard run fueled the drive along with Webster’s 15-yard pass to Landry and 12-yard completion to Reginald Jackson. Dustin St. Pierre’s kick made it 7-0 with 7:28 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs made it 13-0 on their next possession when Webster kept off a fake hand-off to cap the 5-play, 34-yard drive. Webster hit Shane Naquin across the field after rolling to his right for a 17-yard pickup to ignite the possession before Taylor picked up 18 yards on an option run to the right. Richard blocked St. Pierre’s kick with 3:51 left to play in the first quarter.

East Ascension moved the chains for the first time on the next series courtesy of a change of possession when Landon Gautier recovered Austin Roussell’s fumble caused by Bradley Day after Roussell intercepted quarterback Adam Trahan but the Spartans  went backwards from there.

The Spartans forced Lutcher into a three-and-out on the ensuing possession but Blake Rome sacked Trahan for an 8-yard loss to force East Ascension to punt.

Taylor capped Lutcher’s ensuing 78-yard, 9-play drive with an 8-yard run to the right off an option. Jackson’s 45-yard catch and run down the Lutcher sideline from Austin Brack sparked the possession. St. Pierre’s kick made it 20-0 with 4:15 left in the first half.

East Ascension’s offense woke on the next possession covering 41 yards in 5 plays fueled by Williams’ runs of 22 and 13 yards but Matthew Stafford’s 35-yard field goal attempt was wide left.

Richard’s interception came four plays later when the safety stepped in front of Webster’s pass intended for Jackson in front of East Ascension’s sideline and returned it 40 yards to pay dirt. Stafford’s kick was short leaving the score 20-6 with 44.3 seconds left in the first half.

On the next play from scrimmage, Tre` Griggs intercepted Webster at the Bulldog 49 and returned it 10 yards but East Ascension failed to capitalize as Emerson Foster, who replaced Trahan who suffered a concussion, was intercepted by David Washington after Marc Payne sacked him for a 4-yard loss.

“If I don’t put the kid right back in the saddle, he is going to lose confidence in himself,” Detillier said. “We want him to know, he is our man and we have to be able to do this. We made a bad read but we are not playing not to lose. We are going to be aggressive. That is our style and that is what we are going to do.”

Webster kept for 46 yards into the end zone four plays into the second half but a penalty negated the score and Bulldogs were forced to punt after Jake Connerly batted down a third down pass.

Jackson returned Stafford’s 44-yard punt 74 yards for a touchdown eight plays later and St. Pierre’s kick put Lutcher ahead 27-6 with 4:44 left in the third quarter.

“We knew that was coming,” Lambert said. “Lutcher has too many athletes for that to not happen. We wanted to control the clock and you have to keep Lutcher’s offense off the field. They are just too good.”

Two possessions later, Webster kept up the gut for a 58-yard touchdown run and St. Pierre’s kick made it 34-6 with 1:52 left in the third quarter.

“We are blessed with good athletes,” Detillier said. “I think it is smart coaching to put your athletes in space and let them make plays and that is what we do.”

East Ascension drove to the Bulldog 41 on the next possession behind Williams’ 12-yard run and Day’s 16-yard grab from Foster, but Foster was stopped short on fourth down. On the second play of the Spartans’ next possession, Rico Albert returned an interception 25-yards for a touchdown and St. Pierre’s kick reflected the final tally with 7:26 left to play.

The Spartans looked primed to get into the end zone on the next series when Nathan Ray outleaped two Lutcher defenders for a 22-yard catch to the Bulldog 15 after Williams’ 16-yard run and JarMarkus Jarvis’ 15-yard gain, but the catch was negated due to an illegal procedure penalty.

Webster completed his first seven passes including 10- of 13 for 82 yards while rushing for 101 yards on nine carries. Taylor added 111 yards on 17 carries.

“We are so young on offense and we have to be patient,” Lambert said. “Our offensive line came to play. Our receivers went up and got footballs. We played hard. Lutcher is a better football team, but we are going to get there. We are working hard to get to that point.  We have to continue to believe in what we are doing because what we are doing is right.”

East Ascension hosts Walker (0-3) Friday at Spartan Stadium for homecoming.

East Ascension’s Nathan Ray hauls in a 22-yard pass from Emerson Foster over Lutcher Austin Rousel in the fourth quarter Friday night. The catch was negated for illegal procedure.