There was lots of buzz at the Gator/Spartan Shout Out on Thursday night before the football game about a sort of “gris-gris.” That’s sort of a spooky thing or curse. As the tale goes, the team that wins the Shout Out loses the game. This year, the Gators won the Shout Out so could the “gris-gris” continue this year? What would happen at Spartan Stadium in 2015?

On paper the Gators were the dominant team. A 6-0 record with the No. 2 passing quarterback in the state averaging almost 270 yards a game. An above-average running game, along with a college-bound kicker that’s a star receiver as well. The Spartans were 2-4 with a top college prospect for a quarterback but they hadn’t been able to get any consistency on offense or defense. It just wasn’t clicking quite like it should.

Well, it could be the “gris-gris” or just a great football effort. As fate would have it, on the very first play from scrimmage, the Gator’s quarterback, Hayden Mallory, dropped back to deliver a familiar pass route to receiver Larson Fontenot that usually ends up with a reception. But Spartan defensive back Jacquel Jacobs anticipated the back-shoulder pass, came over the top and intercepted the ball. He then ran it back for a 34-yard touchdown. It would be the play that set the tone for a 31-10 upset by the Spartans over the previously undefeated Gators.

The first half saw a defensive battle. The Spartans (3-4, 1-1) didn’t score another point and the Gators (6-1, 1-1) could only muster a field goal as the score ended 7-3 at halftime.

In the second half, the EA defense continued to keep a lid on the Gators’ passing offense. Mallory entered the night second in the state with 1,609 passing yards but could only connect on 14 of 29 for 112 yards and four interceptions. Jacobs set the standard by intercepting Mallory three times.

The Gators held the Spartans to 42 rushing yards in the first half but EA’s running game finally took a toll as they wore down the St. Amant defense. East Ascension finished with 262 yards of offense, all of it on the ground.

Spartan running back Joshua Bates led all rushers with 160 yards on 14 carries, including runs of 74 and 55 yards that set up two of Kyran Irvin’s three touchdown runs. Irvin played quarterback most of the night but when the passing game was nonexistent, he was used at the tailback as well. He tacked on 101 yards on 21 carries, helping to make up for the Spartans 0-of-11 passing.

We’ll have to wait for next years’ Shout Out and game to see if the pattern holds true again.

The Spartans travel across town to Dutchtown to face the Griffins in a 5A District 5 test at 7 p.m. Friday and the Gators host the Catholic High Bears in a district test at 7 p.m. Friday.

Griffins go 2-0 in district with 35-7 win over Panthers

The Dutchtown Griffins used a steady-as-you-go approach to take their second district win over the McKinley Panthers on the road 35-7. The Griffins (5-2, 2-0) started with a 14-play drive to the McKinley 1-yard line. The 79-yard drive came to a halt as the Panthers defense kept the Griffins out of the end zone on fourth-and-goal.

The Panthers (2-5, 0-2) took over on their 1-yard line, the first of three times, while Dutchtown’s defense held them to a three-and-out. A short punt by the Panthers put the Griffins back in business on the McKinley 18. Six plays later, Jared Sparks scored from the 1-yard line for the first score.

On the next drive, running back Fitell Bolding took the ball in for the Griffins’ second score. Then it was time for the defense to shine as Rickey Thomas returned an interception 39 yards to bring the score to 21-0 at the half. Averee York was 3-3 in the first half on PATs and was perfect on the night in all five attempts.

Dutchtown used a balanced offense and opportunistic defense to score twice more in the second half. Dutchtown finished with 194 yards on the ground and added 96 yards passing. Sparks was 10 of 18 passing with one touchdown pass to Averee York. He connected with six receivers, led by York with three catches for 37 yards.

Bulldogs take a bite out of the Tigers 62-6

The Ascension Catholic Bulldogs won their second district game as they went on an offensive tear and trounced the East Iberville Tigers 62-6. The Bulldogs (3-4, 2-2) will host St. John for a 1A District 6 battle on Thursday. The kickoff at Floyd Boutte stadium is set for 7 p.m.

Lions downed by Eagles 57-12

Ascension Christian played host to the St. John Eagles at the Rock on Friday night. Their home field advantage was the only advantage the Lions had as the Eagles tamed the Lions by the score of 57-12.

The Eagles racked up 22 points by the middle of the second quarter, but the Lions managed 12 points within a couple of minutes to bring the score to 28-12 at the half. That was the last time the Lions got in the end zone as the Eagles scored 29 unanswered points in the second half to get the 57-12 win.

The Lions (3-4, 0-1) will travel this week to play Ecole Classique with the kickoff slated for 7 p.m. Friday.

Donaldsonville evens district record with win over Baker

The Donaldsonville Tigers could not have been more consistent as they scored a touchdown in all four quarters and held the Baker Buffaloes (3-5, 1-3) to a pair of TDs to win a district contest 27-14 at Floyd Boutte Stadium on Friday night.

The Buffaloes led the stats as they ran 54 plays to the Tigers’ (2-5, 2-2) 40 plays. They also had 13 first downs to 10 for the Tigers but the stats Baker led in that helped their demise was nine penalties for 70 yards as the Tigers only had two.

Quarterback Tyler Brown led the offensive charge of the Tigers with 9 completions in 21 attempts for 221 yards for a 24.6 average. Brown threw for two touchdowns and one interception. Three receivers accounted for the nine receptions. Senior Stephen Sullivan had 3 for 47 yards, freshman Jeffery Johnson added a pair for 77 yards and sophomore Jaylin Williams caught 3 for 97 yards.

The Tigers play next when they travel to Parkview Baptist for a 3A District 6 battle at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reel man@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.