ST. AMANT — For the past four years, St. Amant has dressed in all orange whenever it takes the field against East Ascension as a way to show the camouflage-clad Spartan fans they aren’t afraid of being hunted.
But St. Amant was the one doing the hunting Friday night as they took down East Ascension 57-34 at The Pit.
“They’re on the Gator hunt, and that’s our thing, ‘Here we are and we’re going to battle all night,’ ” St. Amant coach David Oliver said as his team celebrated on the field.
Oliver pulled out all the stops in the first half as his team called just about every trick in the playbook, from a surprise onside kick in the first quarter to a halfback pass.
The Gators took an early lead on a 14-yard reverse by wide receiver Briggs Bourgeois up the left side, which would’ve been Bourgeois’ play of the game if he hadn’t recovered the ensuing onside kick a few minutes later.
St. Amant quarterback Tyler Dixon threw his only interception of the game before they could produce another score.
“Our coach told us, ‘It’s Halloween, so let’s pull out some big plays out of the bag,’ and that’s what we did,” Bourgeois said. “We just put them in and we executed really well.”
Oliver called for Justin Duhon to fake the extra point following running back Nathan Taylor’s 45-yard touchdown run. Duhon scored on the two-point try by diving at the right pylon to give his team a 15-6 with two minutes to play in the first quarter.
Before the first quarter was over, Duhon would got involved in another trick play as he was on the receiving end of an 18-yard halfback pass from Ethan Babin to set up Richard Williams’ first score of the night on a 10-yard screen pass from Dixon.
Taylor and Williams combined for 245 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Taylor led St. Amant with 152 yards, including two scores of more than 45 yards.
“I think all that starts with the effort up front on our offensive line,” Oliver said. “Our quarterback made good decisions and our offensive line pushed the pile.”
East Ascension rallied, however.
After going 6-for-6 on fourth down, the Spartans cut the deficit to one score game with a few minutes left in the third quarter following a 25-yard run from quarterback Kyran Irvin.
Irvin led both teams with 252 yards and four rushing touchdowns on 28 carries but was forced to leave the game with about four minutes play after suffering a possible concussion.
“The last series, they continued to slam him on the ground, and the referees continued to let it go on. That’s what happens in those situations,” East Ascension coach Paul Bourgeois said. “You let them keep going without ever slowing them down, and now he has a concussion for that.”
Williams put the game to rest with three minutes left to play on a 44-yard touchdown run — his second of the night.