Lacy, Griffins capitalize on turnovers in EA shutout
GEISMAR - Dutchtown capitalized two turnovers into touchdowns in the first half and senior running back Eddie Lacy burned a physical East Ascension defense for 162 yards and all four of his team’s touchdowns on way to a 30-0 District 5-5A opening victory Friday night at Griffin Field.
“I am pleased with the win,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “I thought our team played a sound football game. I think we won every phase of the game. I knew they were going to come in here and play hard. We had nothing but respect for EA coming in and we have nothing but respect for EA going out. The difference was we were the better football team.”
Dutchtown limited the Spartan offense to 149 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers in the first half hampering two drives into Griffin territory.
“We are tired of playing hard and not winning,” East Ascension head coach John Lambert said. “We are frustrated. We are playing young kids but that is no excuse for what we do. We have to come out and execute and we didn’t do that tonight. If we don’t turn the ball over it is 0-0 at halftime.
“Our defense played a great game. (Dutchtown) has a pretty good defense but I thought we had a good game plan. We put our defense in bad positions and we can’t continue to do that.”
East Ascension (1-4, 0-1) took advantage of a Dutchtown personal foul on fourth down to drive to the Griffins 46 on the opening possession of the game but Kendryck Johnson recovered Justin Pelle’s fumble at midfield. Quarterback Emerson Foster’s 9-yard completion to Pelle on third down kept the 7-play drive from Dutchtown’s 20-yard line alive.
No. 5 Dutchtown (5-0, 1-0) returned the favor four plays later when Chase Thomas recovered Kelvin York’s fumble at the Spartan 33. Effrem Reed’s 13-yard misdirection scamper had given the Griffins a first down.
The Spartans would drive deep into Griffin territory on the ensuing possession but freshmen Chase Rivet’s pass was intercepted by Eric Reid and returned 75 yards to the EA 15. Foster connected with Bradley Day twice on third down for 8 and 12 yards during the 9-play drive and Pelle’s 9-yard run set up first down at the Griffin 25 before the pick.
Lacy ran wide left to pay dirt five plays later after quarterback Wesley Perkins kept for 1-yard on fourth down. Grant Auzene’s kick gave Dutchtown a 7-0 lead with 54.3 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
“The interception that we ran back to the plus side of the field kind of blew the game open,” Saia said. “If we are not any good, then we don’t get those turnovers. Those were big turning points in the game. You have to play defense. That is part of being a good football team.”
East Ascension began the ensuing possession from their own 5-yard line but 9-yard runs by Darrell Spears and Avery Williams set the Spartans moving before Richard Buckland recovered a fumbled pitch to Williams at the EA 38.
Dutchtown once again took advantage of the short field and Lacy hit the same spot from five yards seven plays later. Perkins hit Lyndon Holmes out of the backfield for a 16-yard pickup on third down after Reed gained 11 yards on the first play of the drive. Auzene’s kick put the Griffins ahead 14-0 with 7:09 left in the half.
The Griffin defense forced East Ascension into a three-and-out and Dutchtown sustained an 11-play, 55-yard drive capped by Lacy’s burst up the middle from 2-yards with 48.9 seconds left in the half. Lacy fueled the drive with runs of 17 and 15 yards and the Griffins overcame two penalties to punch it in. Auzene’s kick made it 21-0 at halftime.
East Ascension’s defense bowed on the opening possession of the second half stopping York just short on fourth down at the Spartans 3 after Perkins hit Reed deep over the middle for 46 yards on the first play from scrimmage.
But Dutchtown’s defense would not be outshined and a play after Buckland and Grant Medine dropped Williams for a 2-yard loss a host of Griffins brought him down in the end zone for a safety to make it 23-0 with 8:15 left in the third quarter.
Matt Richard intercepted Perkins on the ensuing possession to give the Spartans life at the Griffin 39 but Dutchtown’s defense forced a three-and-out. Perkins kept for a 22-yard gain to open the ensuing possession but East Ascension’s defense would not be outdone as Q’Dareus Lomas dropped York for a 4-yard loss and Robert Gray hit Perkins for a 1-yard loss.
The two defenses forced punts on the next possessions but only after Nathan Ray’s 14-yard grab from Foster and Lacy’s 64-yard run into the end zone was negated by a penalty.
East Ascension mounted one final drive to the Griffin 4 courtesy of a roughing the passer penalty on third down and Williams’ runs of 9, 9 and 10 yards after Foster’s 17-yard completion to Spears but Foster threw incomplete on fourth down.
Lacy took it to the house from 60-yards six plays later hitting the Dutchtown sideline and beating everyone to the end zone after. He carried four times on the drive which also included a 20-yard gain. Auzene’s kick reflected the final tally with 3:35 left to play.
Lacy’s yards came on just 15 carries. York was held in check, gaining only 25 yards on 14 carries, while Reed added 31 yards on four totes. Perkins was 3 for 6 passing with 76 yards.
Williams led the Spartans with 73 yards on 21 attempts. Foster completed 5-of-16 passes for 60 yards.
Dutchtown wraps up a five-game homestand against No. 8 East St. John (2-2, 1-0) Friday night at Griffin Field. East Ascension hosts Hahnville (3-2, 0-1) at Spartan Stadium.