East Ascension-Dutchtown game stopped for brawl

Peter Silas Pasqua
The East Ascension-Dutchtown game was stopped momentarily after a fight started.

The East Ascension and Dutchtown District 6-5A football game between cross-parish rivals Friday was marred by a bench clearing brawl with under five minutes to play at Spartan Stadium.

An estimated 150 people swarmed on the field before the fight was broken up.

East Ascension went for a first down on fourth-and-6 from their own 32, and was stopped shy of the chains on a group tackle that carried out of bounds onto the Spartan sideline.

The melee quickly escalated into a pushing match that ended up in a pile near the middle of the field, requiring security police to intervene momentarily. After both coaches, principals, referees and law enforcement convened, the game continued after the ejection of seven players.

“That is unfortunate,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “It is an unfortunate thing that happens. We shook hands and those guys were hugging each other after the game.”

Saia said the incident happened in the heat of battle, and that such incidents happen at all levels of football.

“You wish it wouldn’t happen in high school,” he said. “We are going to talk to our kids about it. We are not proud that it happened, but it did.”

East Ascension coach John Lambert said it was shame the game had to end the way it did, but that it was a good clean game up until that point.

“It is just two rivals playing each other and those kind of things happen sometimes,” he said.

No one appeared to be arrested, however, one news reporter was escorted away by police.

East Ascension and Dutchtown players are separated after a scuffle.