Big plays burn Spartans in lopsided loss to Parkview

Kyle Riviere
East Ascension running back Ralph Williams' game was cut short with a knee injury. He was limited to 26 yards prior to getting hurt. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

In East Ascension's week one road victory over Lutcher, big plays put them over the top. A week later, it was the big plays that did them in.

Hosting Parkview Baptist in their home opener, the Spartans surrendered two long scores on the Eagles' first two offensive possessions. Later, two East Ascension turnovers turned into 10 more Parkview points in a 29-7 Eagle victory.

"They came in and executed," Spartan head coach Darnell Lee said. "We put ourselves in the mud, and you can't do that. They got 13 points right off of the bat. You can't spot a team that eats up the clock like that and is so efficient on offense. Everything we saw on film during the week, that's what they did. They just executed. That's a machine over there."

While East Ascension came into the night brimming with confidence after an impressive 30-13 victory over Lutcher in the opener, the Eagles were eager to get the bad taste out of their mouths from the week before, when they blew a late lead to lose to Catholic, 27-25.

They took control right from the start against the Spartans.

On just their second offensive play, Connor Joffrion gathered in an option pitch from Alexander Aucoin and raced to the outside where he saw nothing but green grass. Sixty-one yards later, Parkview was up 7-0.

On their next possession, they scored in three plays.

Facing a third and nine, Aucoin found a wide open Joffrion over the middle. He galloped to the end zone untouched from 82 yards out to put Parkview up 13-0.

That score was quickly followed by East Ascension's first turnover.

On the ensuing kickoff, Jimel London was stripped of the ball, and the Eagles recovered at the East Ascension 28-yard line.

The Spartan defense stood tall this time--forcing a 26-yard field goal, but they still headed into the second quarter down 16-0.

Parkview played keep-away in the second.

The Eagles went on a 14-play, 56-yard drive that ended with another field goal that gave them a comfortable 19-0 lead at the half.

On East Ascension's first offensive series of the third quarter, they committed their second big turnover of the night. Quarterback Jason Wakefield was picked off at the Spartan 34.

Eight plays later, fullback Parker Kirby powered in from four yards out to give the Eagles a commanding 26-0 advantage.

The Spartans' only score of the night came early in the fourth quarter.

They took over at the Parkview 35 after a short punt. They drove into the red zone, and on fourth and goal at the 1, Adrian Johnson leaped over defenders for a touchdown.

In the waning moments of the game, the Eagles added another field goal to clinch the 29-7 victory.

The Spartan offense struggled with the absence of all-district running back Ralph Williams.

Williams injured his knee early in the game. He returned in the second half, but was only able to carry the ball a few more times before reinjuring himself. He never returned.

As a result, East Ascension finished with just 28 yards rushing and 112 total yards.

Coach Lee was happy with how his defense played after Parkview's first two drives. Their first two scoring plays totaled 143 yards. For the rest of the game, they were limited to 251 yards.

"The plus coming out of the night was our defense being able to make adjustments and being able to make some stops in the second half," Lee said. "I feel like we got better. I thought we were able to run the ball a little better in the second half. We were down to our fourth running back, so it was hard."

This Friday night, East Ascension will be looking to bounce back when they host 0-2 Thibodaux.

"We just want to take this game and grow from it," Lee said. "That's why we put them on the schedule. They show you who you are. You have to play mistake-free football."