East Ascension's playoff run ends against Byrd

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Kade Waguespack (No. 25) and East Ascension fell into a 30-0 hole against top-seeded Byrd. Photo by Dewey Keller.

East Ascension fought valiantly in the fourth quarter, but the hole they fell into early on against top-seeded Byrd was simply too deep to overcome.

The Yellow Jackets used the 30-0 run they pieced together at the start of the game to cruise past the Spartans, 37-20, and punch their ticket to the quarterfinals.

No. 16 East Ascension made the long trip to Shreveport with a lot of confidence after they demolished Sulphur 52-14 in the opening round. That confidence could be seen on their opening drive.

The Spartan offense marched inside the Byrd 10-yard line, but it's there that they were turned away. The Yellow Jacket defense stood tall and turned East Ascension over on downs.

The Byrd offense fed off of the momentum of the huge stop as Tysen Hardman exploded for an 80-yard touchdown run on their second play.

Now trailing 7-0, disaster followed for the Spartans as they fumbled on their ensuing possession, and Byrd recovered it at their 16-yard line.

Not long afterward, Dominic Haggerty put the Yellow Jackets up 14-0 with a one-yard touchdown run.

Byrd extended the lead to 21-0 midway through the second quarter as quarterback Deuce Caston broke loose on a 61-yard score.

East Ascension quarterback Kyran Irvin was sacked for a safety later in the half to put the Yellow Jackets up 23-0 at the break, and it just kept getting worse for the Spartans.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Byrd offense finally got back on track as they drove downfield. They extended the lead to 30-0 with another touchdown run by Haggerty.

Down in the seemingly-insurmountable hole, things finally began to go East Ascension's way.

After big runs by Josh Walker and Josh Bates, the Spartans were able to quickly move downfield. They finally lit up their side of the scoreboard with an eight-yard touchdown run by Walker.

However, any comeback aspirations were quickly squashed when East Ascension's attempted onside kick was returned for a 55-yard touchdown by Trent Touchet.

The Spartans never stopped fighting though. They fought hard in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 37-20 with two more touchdown runs by Walker.

But the surge came a little too late for East Ascension. Time ticked away, and they were dealt the 37-20 season-ending loss.

The Spartans actually out-gained Byrd 284-261 for the game, but their first-half mistakes and Byrd's big plays in the first two quarters put East Ascension in the 30-0 hole that was simply too deep to escape.

Walker led the Spartans with 100 yards and all three of their scores on just 10 carries while Bates added 53 yards on the ground.

Irvin was able to chew up 78 yards on the ground but through the air, he was held in check with only 45 yards.

It was the second straight year that East Ascension's season was ended in the second round of the playoffs. Last season, they were upset at home by Covington.

The Spartans ended up finishing the year with an overall record of 6-6.