Samuel and Spartans pull away from Dutchtown
Friday night’s East Ascension vs. Dutchtown matchup featured a showdown between two of the best running backs in Ascension Parish—the Spartans’ Walter Samuel and the Griffins’ Dylan Sampson.
Sampson has made the most headlines this year, especially after breaking Eddie Lacy’s school record for most career rushing yards. But on this night, it was Samuel that stole the show.
Samuel rushed for 171 yards and four touchdowns. His scoring runs of 35 and 65 yards in the second half broke the game wide open and led to East Ascension pulling away with a 35-20 victory.
Sampson was nicked up in the game. He failed to rush for 100 yards for the first time this season.
“At halftime, we preached that we were shooting ourselves in the foot,” Spartan head coach Darnell Lee said. “They’re a good football team. It’s just a matter of time before a guy like Dylan Sampson breaks loose. He was limping around tonight, and I hate to see that. He’s a great kid. But we knew that if he got a step, he could break a big one. Playing a team like this, it makes you a better team.”
East Ascension took a quick lead to begin the game. On its opening drive, Samuel broke loose on a 42-yard touchdown run to put the Spartans ahead, 7-0.
The Spartans looked well on their way to going up 14-0 as they drove inside the Dutchtown 10, but they fumbled away a snap.
East Ascension fumbled the ball again in the second quarter. The Griffins took over at the East Ascension 41-yard line.
On Dutchtown’s first play, Pierson Parent hit Baylor Langlois on a slant, and he raced downfield for a score that tied the game.
East Ascension responded with a four-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown run by Samuel.
But right before the half, the Griffins went on an eight-play, 63-yard march. Parent connected with Jordan Gloston for an 11-yard touchdown that tied the game at the break.
But in the second half, it was all East Ascension.
On the Spartans’ opening drive of the third quarter, they drove 80 yards in just six plays. Samuel scored from 35 yards out to make it 21-14.
They began their next drive at their own 1, but a pass interference call gave them a first down at the 20. Later, facing a third-and-16, quarterback Troy Dunn hit Jaquel Mack for 21 yards.
Then Samuel broke loose for 65 yards to give the Spartans a 28-14 advantage.
Early in the fourth quarter, Jacorey Johnson gave East Ascension a commanding 35-14 lead with a 19-yard touchdown run.
Dutchtown’s Sean Winfield eventually scored from two yards out, but it was far too late for the Griffins.
In the loss, Sampson was limited to 92 yards rushing on 17 carries. Parent added 71 yards on the ground.
Langlois had 36 rushing yards, and he had seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.
East Ascension piled up 449 total yards.
“We wanted to stick to our ground game, keep the chains moving and keep the clock running,” Lee said. “We tried to play keep-away from them. They do a great job with their run game. Coach (Guy) Mistretta’s teams are always tough, so we knew we had to come in and have our A-game.”
Dunn went 11-14 for 173 yards, while Samuel rushed for 171 yards and four scores on just 11 carries.
Johnson came in and rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on just six carries.
“Jacorey Johnson came off the bench and did a great job for us. We try our best to keep the defense honest so they can’t stack the box, and our guys up front did a great job for us,” Lee said.