Behind an offensive explosion, Catholic downs East Ascension
After a tough 57-34 road loss to archrival St. Amant, East Ascension was trying to get back on track and carry some momentum into the playoffs. It didn't happen Friday night.
Making the trip to Olympia Stadium, the Spartans challenged the sixth-ranked Catholic High Bears early on but in the second half, they Bears kept rolling up yards and points.
When the East Ascension offense finally failed to hold serve, Catholic ran away with an easy 58-28 win.
The Spartans came into the game short-handed. They were without quarterback Kyran Irvin and explosive all-purpose back Josh Walker--who both sustained injuries during the clash with St. Amant.
Early on, the two losses didn't seem to affect them. They had no trouble lighting up the scoreboard. Unfortunately for East Ascension, they couldn't stop Catholic from doing the same.
The Bears were able to jump out to the biggest lead of the game early in the second quarter when LSU soft-commit Derrius Guice scored two straight touchdowns.
One score was a 30-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Ian Brian and another was a 43-yard run following an East Ascension turnover.
The two straight scores put Catholic up 20-8, but the Spartans quickly answered back.
With the Bears' star running back taking over, East Ascension's stud back stepped up for them.
With Irvin and Walker both gone, Josh Bates was looked upon to carry the load, and he did just that.
To answer the two Guice scores, Bates scored on runs from 22 and seven yards out . It helped make it a 27-22 game late in the first half.
However, the Bears delivered a crucial blow to East Ascension right before the half, and they could never recover.
With less than a minute left in the second quarter, Brian hit Clyde Edwards-Helaire for a 54-yard touchdown connection to put Catholic up 34-22 at the half.
From there, it was all Bears. In the second half, they outscored the Spartans 24-7.
To put their finishing touches on the offensive explosion, Edwards-Helaire exploded for a 67-yard touchdown run.
After playing so well in the big win against Dutchtown, the East Ascension defense has really struggled the past two weeks.
They gave up 469 yards and 57 points to St. Amant and last week against the Bears, they gave up 58 points and 528 total yards--270 of those yards coming on the ground.
The Catholic attack was very balanced. Brian went 17-19 for 246 yards and four scores.
On the ground, Edwards-Helaire had 132 yards on just five carries while Guice piled up 108 yards and four total touchdowns.
Bates did all that he could to keep his team in it. He carried the ball 20 times for 202 yards and three touchdowns.
The win allowed Catholic to end the regular season at 9-1 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the district. Conversely, the second straight loss dropped East Ascension to 5-5 and 2-3 in district play.