GONZALES — It’s easy for the running back to get lost in the shuffle when a team has a quarterback who makes big plays as easily as a knife slides through butter.
Nevertheless, Zachary High’s Terry Sullivan stepped into the spotlight in a big way by running for 152 yards and scoring three touchdowns to help fourth-ranked Zachary High oust East Ascension 38-25 on Friday night at Spartan Stadium.
“I give all the credit to my O-line,” Sullivan said afterward. “I just put my head down and follow them. It did take awhile to get warmed up in the game. But we got rolling.”
Zachary also got stellar play from its versatile quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr., who ran for 106 yards on 14 carries with one TD. The 2014 All-Metro 5A-4A and Class 5A All-State MVP also completed 9 of 16 passes for 155 yards and another TD.
The 5A game between teams from different local districts was notable to those trying to gauge just how good each team is. The look was revealing for Zachary (3-0) a week before traveling to Shreveport to take on Calvary Baptist on ESPNU, and for EAHS (1-2), looking to dig in for District 5-5A run.
Quarterback Kyran Irvin led East Ascension with 81 yards on 22 carries and one TD. Irvin completed 14 of 27 passes for 151 yards and two TDs.
The game’s turning point came early in the second quarter. The Spartans led 13-7 and had stopped Scott on a fourth-and-goal at the EAHS 1. The Broncos turned the tables by forcing a three-and-out and partially blocking a punt.
Zachary took over at the EAHS 23 and scored on the next play to take the lead. A P.J. Cannon interception led to another quick TD. The Broncos scored on four out of five possessions to take control.
“Kyran took advantage of a week of hard work and came out firing with some confidence,” EAHS coach Paul Bourgeois said. “I talk about momentum all the time, because it’s so big. We stopped them, but we couldn’t capitalize on it and then they did.
“We finished strong at the end of the half. The ideal scenario would have been for us to get the ball first in the second half. But they got it, and we wound up watching another long drive.”
The offense definitely was a point of emphasis for the Broncos, who got TD runs of 3, 7 and 20 yards, seemingly getting stronger as the game went on.
On the first play after the blocked punt Scott tossed a 23-yard TD pass to Braylon Jones. After Cannon’s interception, receiver Douglas Coleman rambled 22 yards on an end around to help set up a 2-yard TD run by Scott that gave ZHS a 20-13 lead with 6:39 left in the half.
“I don’t think our defense played as focused a game as we wanted them to,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “But that was huge. We three-and-outed them right there and got a short field to work with. That was a big turning point in the game.”
Irvin opened the game with a 4-yard TD that capped a 14-play, 69-yard drive. The 225-pound Sullivan tied it with a 3-yard TD run before Irvin tossed a 26-yard TD pass to Josh LeBlanc that gave EAHS its 13-7 lead with 1:33 left in the wild first quarter.
The second quarter belonged to the Broncos. Sullivan’s 7-yard run and a two-point PAT run by Scott made it 28-13 with 3:00 to go in the half. East Ascension got the final score. Irvin tossed a 22-yard TD pass to Josh Bates on the final play of the half to make it 28-19.
Sullivan and company made sure the Spartans couldn’t close the gap right away. A 32-yard pass from Scott to Coleman set up Sullivan’s 20-yard TD run that made it 35-19 game. Bates scored again — this time on a 3-yard run — to pull EAHS within 35-25 with 8:26 left in the game but could get no closer.
Instead, the Spartans watched Zachary drain the clock, often with handoffs to Sullivan.
“Terry was outstanding tonight,” Brewerton said. “Coming into the game, we thought we could do some things between the tackles. He secured the football and got yards.”