Turnovers doom Spartans at LaGrange

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Damien Banner, Scott Bosworth,?Q’Dareus Lomas and Wade Julien wrap up a Denham?Springs ball carrier in Week 2. The Spartans gave up 279 yards passing in a 34-12 loss to LaGrange Friday night.

LAKE CHARLES – LaGrange turned two second half turnovers into touchdowns to put away East Ascension 34-12 Friday night.

LaGrange (3-0) quarterback Derek Ballard threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns as the Spartans fumbled the ball away three times and were outgained 420-209 in net yards.

“We are primarily disappointed because we fell like it was team that we should have beat,” East Ascension head coach John Lambert said. “We were in the game and then in a couple of crucial situations, turnovers happened. It just changes the complexion of the game.

“If we don’t hold onto the rock, we can’t win football games and right now, we are putting the ball on the ground. It is killing us. We just made mistakes. We changed the entire offense to fit the personnel that we have. The split back veer is kind of a throwback offense but it fits our kids and this is just the third week of us running it so we are going to stay positive and continue working within the perimeters of it trying to get better.”

Jarmarcus Jarvis led the Spartans’ rushing attack with 97 yards on four carries, while Avery Williams added 48 yards on 10 carries and Briscoe Davis provided 39 yards on seven totes.

LaGrange got on the board first when Ballard connected with Darius Edwards from 18-yards out in the first quarter. Brandon Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run in the second frame put the Gators ahead 14-0.

East Ascension (1-2) answered on Jarvis’ 82-yard run and quarterback Emerson Foster’s 2-yard sneak to cut it to 14-12 but Ballard hit Williams out of the backfield from 16 yards before half-time to put LaGrange ahead 20-12.

East Ascension held the Gators on the opening possession of the second half but on the first play of the ensuing series, the Spartans fumbled and Edwards cashed in from 1-yard out.

“They score and now a team that needs confidence doesn’t get it,” Lambert “The defense played very well. They are going to make their corrections but we just have to stop the turnovers.”

The Spartans fumbled once more on the next series and Williams capped the scoring with a 36-yard run to pay dirt.

East Ascension left their defense on the field for more than 30 minutes in time of possession for the second consecutive week as LaGrange ran nearly 30 more offensive plays 69-41 and the Spartans’ offense was only on the field for 17:25.

Edwards and Williams each ran for over 60 yardsfor LaGrange and Edwards was Bellard’s top target grabbing seven receptions for 131 yards.

Bellard completed 19-of-39 passes with two touchdowns.

Deandrus Ennis caught the Spartans’ lone reception for two yards from Emerson Foster who completed 1-of-6 passes.

East Ascension will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak when they host A. J. Ellender Friday night at Spartan Stadium.