GONZALES — Kyran Irvin ran for four touchdowns and threw for two more to lead 16th-seeded East Ascension past No. 17 Sulphur 52-14 in first round of Class 5A playoff action Friday night.
East Ascension (6-5) trailed 14-8 midway through the second quarter, but, sparked by two scores before the half, the Spartans went on to score the game’s final 44 points.
Derrick Guillory ran for 188 yards and both touchdowns for Sulphur (6-5). The Golden Tors offense was slowed down when quarterback Byron Walker left the game for good with a knee injury after the second score.
“(Sulphur) is a great community just like ours,” said East Ascension coach Paul Bourgeois, a former head coach at Sulphur from 2002-2009. “It wasn’t about beating them. It was to show that, ‘Hey, I’m over here, I’m doing good, and we’re still working hard.’ ”
Irvin finished the game with 114 yards rushing and 117 yards passing. After running for three first-half touchdowns, he threw for touchdowns of 55 and 30 yards in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
Also going more than 100 yards for the Spartans was Joshua Bates, who tallied a team-high 131.
In the first half, there were no punts by either team, and nearly every possession crossed midfield. The score was tied 14-14 until East Ascension put together a late scoring drive.
After stopping Sulphur on downs, the Spartans moved from the East Ascension 30 to paydirt in 12 plays. Bates’ 29-yard run gave the Spartans a first down at the Sulphur 38, and Irvin kept the drive alive with an 18-yard completion to Kade Waguespack on 4th-and-14.
Irvin finished off the series with his third touchdown of the half, a weaving 14-yard run on a quarterback draw. Irvin’s two-point pass to Waguespack gave the Spartans a 22-14 lead at the break.
The momentum carried over into the second half.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to (East Ascension’s) effort in the third quarter,” Sulphur coach Jeff Wainwright said. “That was the difference in the ball game right there.”
East Ascension fumbled twice in the first half, and Sulphur turned both into touchdowns.
The first came near midfield on the Spartans’ first possession. A hard snap sailed through Irvin’s hands, and Toby Duhon recovered for Sulphur at the East Ascension 36. Byron Walker found Austin Nelson for a 17-yard gain, and Guillory used his quickness to score around left end from 18 yards out.
The Spartans came back to take an 8-6 lead on their next possession. Irvin’s 6-yard run capped a 59-yard drive, and East Ascension took an 8-6 lead.
Sulphur took the kickoff and drove to the East Ascension 31, but after intercepting Walker the Spartans fumbled the ball back one play later.
The Tors used five plays to travel 16 yards with Guillory’s 5-yard run putting Sulphur back up 14-8.
A facemask penalty, and another 29-yard run by Bates helped set up East Ascension on the ensuing drive. Irvin’s 2-yard keeper for the score tied it 14-14 with 7:56 left in the half.