After three straight blowout victories, Scotlandville finally had to work for a win Friday night against East Ascension.
The Spartans (1-3) cut the Hornets’ lead to a one-score game with under two minutes to play on an 18-yard run by running back Joshua Bates, but Scotlandville (4-0) — propelled all night by the play of quarterback Levi Lewis — held on to win 28-20 in a nondistrict matchup.
Lewis finished with 175 yards and two touchdowns on 11-for-16 passing, while producing another 152 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Bates had 97 yards on 13 carries.
“I’m glad we won, and I’m glad we were able to overcome a lot of mistakes,” Scotlandville coach Robert Valdez said. “I’m just glad we were able to overcome some adversity. I was looking to see how we were going to be able to overcome some adversity when these things happen … but we held on and persevered.
“I’m glad to be 4-0 at this time, and a win is a win is a win.”
East Ascension put the Hornets in their first deficit of the season when quarterback Kyran Irvin punched in a 3-yard score to cap an impressive, 11-play, 59-yard drive on the Spartans’ second offensive series.
Scotlandville didn’t take its first lead until a little more than a minute left in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Trenton Charles to cap off a 70-yard drive to push the score to 14-7.
“(Overcoming a deficit) goes with not giving up and being a brotherhood,” Lewis said. “The closer you are, the better off you are. … It gives us more confidence, but we have to stay humble.”
The Spartans struggled to create the same offensive cohesion they had on the early scoring drive, as a barrage of miscues stopped them in their tracks.
East Ascension had two fumbles in the red zone, and both of Scotlandville’s first-half touchdowns were the direct results of failed fourth-down conversions by the Spartans, including a four-play, 32-yard drive that ended with Lewis connecting with Tyson Hives on a 20-yard touchdown pass for the Hornets’ first score.
The eventual game-winning points came when a high snap sailed over punter Dillan Moran’s head and bounced out the back of the end zone for a safety.
Quarterback Kyran Irvin was one of the few sparks on the night for EA, producing 159 yards on 10-for-22 passing and another 96 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“We played a good football team, but we helped them in too many ways,” East Ascension coach Paul Bourgeois said. “It’s just some things we’re not used to having happen to us. We’re a very good fourth down team, and we just missed the block (on the first failed attempt).”
Lewis finally put the game out of reach with about 10 minutes to play when he converted a third-and-23 with a 40 yard run. He closed the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run.
“I was just in the moment,” Lewis said. “I love it.”