STUNG: Yellow Jackets grind past EA’s miscues
DENHAM SPRINGS – On a sloppy field with continuing rain through the first half, Denham Springs took advantage of four East Ascension turnovers to take a 21-7 non-district victory at Yellow Jacket Stadium Friday night.
East Ascension (1-1) fumbled the ball a total of five times, losing two, while also throwing two interceptions compared to a single Yellow Jacket fumble.
“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot.” East Ascension head coach John Lambert said. “We just couldn’t put it in the end zone. We got in situations that we should have never got in. I think we moved the football pretty well. We just can’t have three-down series on offense. I don’t think imagination had anything to do with it. We just have to be patient and drive the football.
“We learned we can play with anybody. It doesn’t matter how big they are. These kids played as hard as they could play and you can’t walk away negative. We just made too many mistakes and that will hurt you in the end. You have to do the little things right to make the big things come together and we didn’t do that tonight. It doesn’t get any easier.”
Denham Springs (2-0) got two rushing touchdowns from Josh Miley and another from defensive tackle Elliot Scott as they beat the Spartans after a 7-7 tie at half-time. It was the Yellow Jackets’ second consecutive victory over East Ascension following a 20-0 shutout a year ago.
“We felt like we were our own worst enemy in the first half,” Denham Springs head coach Dru Nettles said. “We had a penalties and we made mistakes. We just didn’t execute. This was the first time our guys were put in some adverse situations, so I think they really responded. We controlled the chains in the second half and our defense played well all night.
“We ran the ball extremely well tonight. We have faith in the six guys in front of them. They compliment each other and allow us to stay fresh.”
Miley finished the game with 85 yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Tanner Wells also threw for 94 yards on 10-of-15 passing.
East Ascension’s Avery Williams had a game-high 102 rushing yards on eight carries to go with one touchdowns. Quarterback Emerson Foster added 40 yards on the ground on 11 totes
Miley, who carried five times on the drive, capped the 7-play, 53-yard opening possession with a 6-yard scamper into the end zone 3:37 into the contest after a 28-yard pickup on the second play from scrimmage.
East Ascension was forced to punt on the ensuing possession but Wade Julien recovered Michael Early’s fumble on the return at the Spartan 44.
One play later, Williams churned free for a 56-yard touchdown run. Michael Stafford’s kick knotted it up with 5:18 left to play in the first quarter.
The Spartans held Denham on the next series but Scott recovered Foster’s fumble on the following play at the EA 33.
Damien Banner dropped Miley for a loss on fourth-and-2 after the Yellow Jackets advanced to the Spartan 24.
East Ascension drove past midfield on the ensuing series but were forced to punt. On the Spartans’ next drive Reggie Williams intercepted Chase Rivett but East Ascension held before half-time despite a 25-yard completion from Wells to Dron Singleton on the final play before the buzzer.
East Ascension drove into Yellow Jacket territory on a 25-yard option keeper by Foster to open the second half but the quarterback was tackled into a mud puddle along the sidelines and fumbled the next two snaps before the snap sailed over punter Stafford’s head was just gotten off resulted in negative field position.
Miley capped the ensuing 8-play, 56-yard drive that was marred by four penalties with a 30-yard gallop into the end zone and Blaine Dupuy’s kick put the Yellow Jackets ahead 14-7 with 5:20 left to play in the third quarter.
The Yellow Jackets recovered another East Ascension fumble on the ensuing possession but failed to capitalize.
Scott’s 3-yard run to pay dirt capped Denham Springs’ 12-play, 41-yard next drive and Dupuy’s kick reflected the final tally with 5:31 left to play.
East Ascension travels to LaGrange next week.