Spartans hoping to bounce back at LaGrange

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Emerson Foster delivers a pass in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ 21-7 loss to Denham Springs last week. East Ascension travels to Lake Charles Friday night to face LaGrange.

East Ascension will attempt to rebound from their first loss of the season when they travel to Lake Charles to take on LaGrange Friday night at 7 p.m.

The Spartans (1-1), of District 6-5A ran one half the amount of plays as Denham Springs in last week’s 21-7 loss as the Yellow Jackets of District 5-5A also had twice as much time of possession.

“You handle it like you do everything else,” East Ascension head coach John Lambert said. “You have to put it out of your mind and move to the next week. That is what we are doing.

“All we have talked about is doing the little things right. We haven’t even talked about winning or losing.”

LaGrange (2-0), of District 3-5A is coming off a 37-3 victory over Opelousas on the road last week and have scheduled East Ascension as their homecoming.

“I hope our kids take that as an insult,” Lambert said. “It is important for our kids to understand that whether you are at home or on the road, you have to go get a “W,” even in hostile territory.”

East Ascension was limited to just 169 yards of total offense last week. Avery Williams nearly had it all by himself with 103 yards on eight carries. Quarterback Emerson Foster added 40 yards on 11 totes and also threw for 17 yards with Chase Rivett hauling in two receptions. However, the Spartans ultimately turned the ball over four times fumbling a total of five times and losing two.

“That is more than a little bit important for us,” Lambert said. “We have tried to stress ball security all week. Both fumbles came at very crucial times last week when we had drives going and that has got to stop. That is a serious problem for us and if we can get away from that, then I think we can play with anybody.

LaGrange is led on defense by Risean Broussard, a Tennessee commitment, and return five starters from a 3-6 playoff team that lost to Bastrop in the first round last year.

“Offensively, we have to eat more clock,” Lambert said. “We have been getting to the line of scrimmage and snapping the ball with 20 seconds. We would like to snap the ball with five seconds if we can. That is what we have to strive to do against LaGrange. Drive the football and keep our defense off the field.”

East Ascension surrendered 200 yards rushing to Denham Springs last week. Defensive back Brelen Aikens, linebacker Q’Dareus Lomas and defensive tackle Aaron Burns all were forced to come  out of the game last week for at least one snap in the physical contest. Wade Julien led the Spartans with 12 tackles.

“We have little dings just like any football team after the last two weeks but we are not in bad shape,” Lambert said. “Anytime you play a team that is a as big as what Denham was, that is going to be one of the problems that you encounter when you are a little bit smaller. They wear you down over time. I think the most important thing for us is we have to stop third down conversions.”

LaGrange runs a multiple offense that returns six starters for first year head coach Jules Sullen.

“Offensively, they try to spread you out and outflank you by one person each time,” Lambert said. “They are just loaded with speed and also have size up front.”