East Ascension quarterback Kyran Irvin’s dominating performance wasn’t enough to make Friday night’s 21-18 win over Thibodaux any easier.
Irvin ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns, but the fate of the game still came down to a 27-yard field goal attempt by Thibodaux in the final seconds.
Fortunately for the Spartans, the kick sailed wide right.
“The offensive line and the receivers did a good job of helping me get my stats back,” Irvin said. “But at the end of the day, it’s all a team effort. I’m glad we got the win, but we also have a game next week.”
East Ascension (1-1) led 21-10 lead going into the fourth quarter largely thanks to Irvin’s strong showing in his first home game since undergoing knee surgery, which kept him out at the end of last season.
But a 45-yard touchdown run by Thibodaux (0-2) running back Amik Robertson with 4:09 remaining pushed the game closer than East Ascension Paul Bourgeois would have liked.
“Of course, they’re creating a lot of their opportunities, but I feel like we kept giving them opportunities and couldn’t put them away,” Bourgeois said.
Robertson, who is usually the Tigers’ starting cornerback but played offense after starting wide receiver Rontrell Sandolph was sidelined with a broken foot, finished the game with 86 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and another 66 yards and a touchdown receiving.
Robertson and quarterback Trey Leblanc teamed up to orchestrate a clutch final drive that included a conversion on 4th-and-10. Leblanc hit Rochon Washington for 20 yards on the play to the East Ascension 30.
From there, Thibodaux worked the clock driving to the EA 10, where Brandon Cone’s 27-yard field-goal attempt with 7.3 seconds remaining was wide right.
“We’re waiting too long,” Thibodaux coach Chris Dugas said. “We didn’t have any urgency early in the game. ... And then toward the end of the game, we decide we want to play football, but we have to play 48 minutes.”
It took Irvin a little time to get comfortable under center again with both offenses failing to garner much more than three-and-outs in the first quarter.
But once the senior got his rhythm back, he made sure to make up for lost time.
While he didn’t score the first touchdown for the Spartans — the first points of the season after being shut out by Denham Springs in the season opener last week — Irvin certainly set up his running back Joshua Bates for the short score with a 55-yard run that put the ball on the 5-yard line. Bates only needed one carry to give East Ascension a 7-3 lead in the second quarter.
Bates provided 42 yards on 15 carries for the night.
Irvin sparked the Spartans on the next offensive series when he broke off a 31-yard run to 10-yard line. He finished off the drive by scoring a 10-yard run to the left pylon.
Irvin scored what eventually was the game-winning score in the third quarter on a 32-yard read-option run.
“We know Kyran is something special, but so do our opponents,” Bourgeois said. “That’s nothing new.”