THREE PHASES: Spartans topple Ellender behind 300 yards rushing
East Ascension (2-2) dominated all three phases of the game to wallop A. J. Ellender 49-12 Friday night at Spartan Stadium rushing for over 300 yards, returning a punt and fumble for touchdowns and getting a sack in the end zone for a safety.
The Spartans had four rushers with near 50 yards or more and the defense limited the Patriots to just 77 yards of total offense while gathering nine sacks.
“We have things we can fix but this is a confidence booster,” East Ascension head coach John Lambert said. “I thought we were able to run the football. We really cut down our package and ran a very limited number of plays. You just have to take what they will give you.
“For the first time this season we played a team that is our size and when you play a team that is your size, if you execute, then good things happen to you. You have to come out against a team that is winless and put them away early and I thought we did that in all three phrases of the game.”
East Ascension sacked Ellender (0-4) quarterback Justin Billiot nine times with Q’Dareus Lomas hitting him three times and Wade Julien dropping him twice.
“We weren’t consistent in all three phases of the game and we started off slow and couldn’t recover,” Ellender head coach Tawaskie Anderson said. “We fought hard the whole game but we just couldn’t overcome those early mistakes. They have a big, physical offensive line and we didn’t consistently fill our gaps.”
Chase Rivett, in his first start in place of Emerson Foster who was out with the flu, rushed for two touchdowns and 92 yards on five carries. Avery Williams led the attack with 96 yards on seven totes, while Briscoe Davis provided 76 yards on nine carries and Jarmarcus Jarvis added 47 yards on eight attempts.
“When we finally get all the adjustments right, we will be OK,” Lambert said. “We changed our offensive line around a little bit and that is why we did what we did no huddle wise. We let them line up and then took what they gave us.
“When (Rivett) turns the corner, he has an opportunity to score. Our backs have to adjust to his speed as a quarterback. In the second half we had a couple of turnovers but a part of that is we are so young. We were frustrated with it but it is just something we have to fix.”
Sebastion Gaona and Lomas dropped Glenn Fitch for losses on the opening possession and East Ascension quickly punched it in with their first opportunity as Rivett went over from 1 yard after Williams broke free for a 36-yard gain. Michael Stafford’s kick put the Spartans ahead 7-0 with 8:35 left to play in the first quarter.
Ricky Williams returned Trent Hebert’s blocked punt 19 yards to pay dirt on the ensuing possession after Scott Bosworth dropped Fitch for a 3-yard loss.
After consecutive three-and-outs, Julien sacked Billiot in the end zone for a 3-yard loss and safety a play after Dex Templet hit him for a 4-yard loss to put East Ascension ahead 16-0 with 1:46 left in the quarter.
Rivett capped the ensuing possession with a 21-yard sprint to the left pylon on the first play of the second quarter after Davis’ gallops of 21 and 11 yards.
Ellender would answer when Billiot connected with Jermaine Johnson from 35 yards out to cap a 14-play, 85-yard drive. Fitch opened the possession with a 17-yard run.
East Ascension responded when Williams rumbled 38-yards to pay dirt after a 30-yard run by Rivett to go ahead 30-6 with 1:24 left to play in the half. Lomas would sack Billiot for losses of 13 and 3 yards to end the half.
Nathan Voison returned Williams’ fumble 50 yards into the end zone on the first play of the Spartans’ second series to cut it to 30-12 with 7:12 left in the third quarter after neither team was able to sustain a drive on their opening possessions.
Braxton Matthews recovered a fumbled hand-off on the ensuing possession at the EA 25 but the Spartans defense responded. Gaona dropped Jamehl Payton for a 3-yard loss but a roughing the passer penalty gave the Patriots new life. However, Julien hit Billiot short on fourth down for the stop.
Two possessions later, Jarvis hit pay dirt from 9 yards after Rivett’s 39-yard scamper to put the Spartans ahead 36-12 with 8:51 left to play.
Davis capped East Ascension’s next series with a 25-yard burst before Dennis Duronslet returned a fumble 10 yards to pay dirt to reflect the final tally with 2:30 remaining.
Albert Black and Heston Raven each recorded sacks for losses of 7 and 11 yards on the final two plays to prevent the Patriots from scoring again.
East Ascension hosts Bonnabel Friday night at Spartan Stadium for homecoming.