GONZALES — East Ascension got the jump on Lutcher Friday night as the Spartans raced out to a four-touchdown lead before the Bulldogs found their footing.
It was more than enough to propel East Ascension to a 48-21 win at Spartan Stadium, and left the Bulldogs wondering what had hit them.
East Ascension (3-2) scored touchdowns on its first four possessions. Lutcher (3-2) punted twice and lost the ball on downs during that same time frame, but it never slowed down the Spartans offense to get any breathing room.
EA led 28-7 at halftime.
“To be on the field that much offensively (in the first half), every coach wants that,” EA coach Paul Bourgeois said. “For us to be able to do that at the start of the game, four touchdowns on four drives, I’m so happy for my guys.”
Joshua Walker was the sparkplug for EA gaining 115 yards and a touchdown rushing. He also caught two passes for 38 yards, and turned in the play of game in the third quarter.
After Lutcher had crept back within 28-14, Walker ran back the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to swing momentum back to East Ascension.
“That run by Josh Walker’s a highlight for years to come,” Bourgeois said.
Spartans quarterback Kyran Irvin completed 12 of 13 passes for 135 yards, and ran for another 72 yards. Joshua Bates had 39 yards rushing including three short scoring runs.
Lutcher’s Jonte Kirklin didn’t heat up until the second half, and finished the game 28 of 46 for 292 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Destin Porter caught nine balls for 92 yards, and Gavin Englade snared eight for 115 yards.
“East Ascension just kicked our butts,” Lutcher coach Tim Detillier said. “Obviously we were not ready to play in the first half. We played harder in the second half but there were way too many mistakes.
“You’ve got to show up ready to play, and we didn’t do that on either side of the ball.”
The first half belonged to East Ascension, which put together three long drives while adding another shorter one from midfield. Lutcher could only manage a late score as EA led 28-7 at the break.
Third downs were a key as the Spartans converted 6 of 6 into firsts. Lutcher was 1 for 5.
The Spartans took the opening kickoff and moved 74 yards in 11 plays for the game’s first score. Joshua Walker’s 18-yard sweep was the only play longer than 10 yards. Joshua Bates’ 2-yard run gave EA a 7-0 lead.
After forcing a punt, East Ascension drove 64 yards in seven plays. Walker’s 20-yard run was the key play, and helped set up Kade Waguespack’s 15-yard score around right end.
After the kickoff, Lutcher picked up three firsts before punting near midfield. East Ascension took over at its 33 and launched a 14-play march to extend the lead to 21-0.
The Spartans converted three third downs on the drive, the last an 8-yard touchdown run by Walker over left tackle.
After stopping Lutcher on downs, EA drove 46 yards for its last score of the half. Irvin’s 31-yard screen pass to Walker on 3rd-and-11 was the catalyst. Two plays later Bates 4-yard run made it 28-0.
With time running out, Lutcher scrambled 80 yards in 12 plays to finally get on the board. An EA facemask after Jontre Kirklin was sacked on third down, and Kirklin’s 13-yard pass to Al’dontre Davis on 4th-and-1 sparked the drive.
Destin Porter scored from 16 yards away after catching a short crossing pass from Kirklin.