Big plays, dominant defense lead EA to victory

Kyle Riviere
Evan Copeland led all East Ascension rushers with 58 yards on just three carries in their 20-0 jamboree win over Woodlawn. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

In last year's jamboree against Woodlawn, East Ascension's defense played well, but the offense never really showed up in what became a 7-6 loss.

Things were quite different on Friday night.

Hosting the Panthers in jamboree action, the Spartan offense was clicking on all cylinders. They were especially effective through the air as they scored on three pass plays that exceeded 30 yards.

The result was a dominating 20-0 victory.

East Ascension scored on their very first possession.

After breaking loose on a 20-yard run, quarterback Jason Wakefield did damage with his arm as he hit Shavionn Robinson in stride for a 39-yard touchdown that put the Spartans up 6-0.

The only hiccup for East Ascension was on their next possession. A big Jaqunn Mitchell punt return gave them the ball at the Woodlawn 15, but they ended up losing yards.

Alberto Ontiveros was forced to attempt a 46-yard field goal, which came up short.

Although, East Ascension didn't come up empty on their next possession.

Wakefield again made a beautiful over-the-shoulder pass to Robinson, and he did the rest. Robinson outran everyone for a 70-yard touchdown connection that put the Spartans up 13-0.

That touchdown ended the night for Wakefield. Cameron Jones then came in at quarterback. Jones was the starter during the spring, due to Wakefield being out with a shoulder injury.

Jones played well.

To close out the first half, he led a five-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 36-yard touchdown connection between him and Markquell Stewart.

It gave East Ascension a 20-0 halftime lead. After putting it in cruise control in the second half, that became the final score.

In just two quarters of play, the Spartans put up 257 yards of total offense, and 177 of those came through the air.

Wakefield went 3-5 for 135 yards with two touchdowns. Jones was 3-3 for 42 yards and a score.

Robinson only made two catches, but they were both touchdowns that added up to 109 yards.

“Wakefield hit a couple of big plays with Shaivonn, and Markquell made a nice double-move that Cam Jones was able to hit him on," East Ascension head coach Darnell Lee said. "Last year, we were praying that Wakefield wouldn’t get hurt. Of course, we don’t want him to get hurt now, but just having that backup this year that we can depend on is special for us.”

On the ground, Evan Copeland led the way for the Spartans as he chewed up 58 yards on just three carries.

“I thought one of the things evident tonight was our depth at running back. Guys are running tough, and the offensive line is opening up holes. We just have to take care of the ball."

The only improvement Coach Lee saw that needs to be made is the snapping of first-year center Falepule Alo. Alo was an All-State guard last year. Now, he makes the transition to center.

Some of his shotgun snaps were erratic early in the win over Woodlawn.

“We’d like to improve our snaps," Lee said. "Alo moved to center from guard, and it’s a totally different deal. He was so aggressive; he wanted to fire off the ball, but we can’t play without the snap. So, we have to tone it down a little. He did a lot better down the stretch.”

The East Ascension defense was even better than the offense. They looked absolutely dominant against the Panthers.

They held them to just 14 total yards.

Leading the way was defensive lineman Deshon Hall. Hall came up with two sacks and numerous tackles for loss.

East Ascension is now set for their season opener. It will be at home this Friday night against the Lutcher Bulldogs of Class 4A.