SHREVEPORT — By the time East Ascension’s explosive offense got going Friday night, Byrd had already done too much damage.
The No. 1 Yellow Jackets scored the first 30 points of a 37-20 win against the No. 16 Spartans as Byrd advanced to its third Class 5A quarterfinals in four seasons.
Byrd (12-0) held East Ascension (6-6) scoreless through the first three quarters as the Yellow Jackets relentlessly blitzed the Spartans’ spread rushing attack.
Byrd heads to No. 9 West Monroe, which took care of No. 25 Covington 24-7 on the road.
The Spartans drove inside Byrd’s red zone on the first possession of the game, but quarterback Kyran Irvin came up 1 yard short on fourth-and-7. East Ascension didn’t enter Byrd territory again until the fourth quarter, in which it scored all 20 of their points.
“It was a combination of them having momentum, and a team with that much success having that much momentum had the edge,” East Ascension coach Paul Bourgeois said. “They were blitzing a bunch, and that was giving us trouble.
“We felt like we figured it out at halftime, and it didn’t show immediately. But the biggest thing was trying to gain back momentum, and we got a little of it, but without it, we were going three-and-out.”
After the Spartans’ failed fourth down, Byrd junior Tysen Hardman sprinted to an 80-yard touchdown run that propelled the Yellow Jackets to a 30-point run.
The Spartans fumbled a handoff two plays later, and Byrd cashed in with a 25-yard drive capped by a Dominic Haggerty 1-yard run and 14-0 lead.
Haggerty added a 3-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to end a 12-play drive that consumed the majority of the third period. Byrd led 30-0.
“(East Ascension) is very explosive, and we’ve played well defensively all year,” Byrd coach Mike Suggs said. “We had to adjust to some of the things they were doing, and we did. I thought we played well offensively, too. We were physical and didn’t turn the ball over.”
East Ascension actually outgained Byrd 284-261, but the Spartans had 212 of their yards in the fourth quarter already down 30-0.
Josh Walker, who gained 100 yards on 10 carries, scored all three touchdowns on runs of 8, 31 and 6 yards. Irvin rushed for 78 yards and threw 45 yards. Bates added 53 rushing yards.
Byrd’s Trent Touchet returned an onside kick 55 yards to answer Walker’s first score and keep a 37-6 lead. But following Walker’s second touchdown, East Ascension recovered an onside kick and scored again to cut Byrd’s lead 37-20 with 3:52 remaining.
DESTREHAN 68, EAST ST. JOHN 14: There was no need for a second-half comeback by Destrehan this time against East St. John.
No. 4 Destrehan got off to a fast start and never looked back in a regional-round victory in Reserve.
Destrehan (12-0) now advances to the state quarterfinals and will host parish rival Hahnville, the 12th seed, a 28-14 winner at Haughton.
Destrehan and East St. John, District 7-5A foes, met two weeks ago in the final game of the regular season and Destrehan trailed 14-0 before scoring 28 unanswered points to wrap up an undefeated regular season.
AMITE 33, PORT ALLEN 13: Dazarrious Downing returned a third-quarter interception 70 yards for a touchdown, helping the Warriors pull away from the No. 10-seeded Pelicans.
Downing picked off Alex Hebert’s pass midway through the third quarter, giving Amite a 14-0 lead.
Jordan Baldwin intercepted another pass on the ensuing possession that led to another score.
Amite (10-2) advances to the quarterfinals for the second straight year to play at No. 11 Jennings.
Hebert finished 8-of-26 for 77 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Kevin Ransom Jr. ran 10 times for 49 yards and a score as the Pelicans finished with 228 yards overall, including 107 on the ground.
NORTH WEBSTER 21, CHURCH POINT 16: Devin White helped alter momentum with a pair of touchdowns during an eight-minute span in the third period as North Webster eliminated No. 2-seeded Church Point in a regional playoff football game.
No. 15 seeded North Webster (9-3) trailed Church Point 10-7 at halftime.
White, a 235-pound junior, rushed 26 times for a game-high 179 yards and three touchdowns. Teammate Lyntravious Gipson added 94 rushing yards on 21 attempts.
White scored the game’s first TD when he ended a 47-yard drive with a 14-yard run in the first quarter.