DUTCHTOWN - Dutchtown High found out what life can be like without its top player Friday night against Ascension Parish rival East Ascension.
Dutchtown’s do-everything back Landon Collins broke a team rule Friday, and sat out the first half of the Griffins District 5-5A contest against the Spartans. Collins returned in the second half to score four times as Dutchtown (7-0, 2-0) rallied for a 35-25 win.
“The incident just occurred today,” said Dutchtown coach Benny Saia, who held out Collins and defensive back Jacolby Bureau for the violation.
“Rules are rules and thank God it worked out for us. He’s a great kid, but he broke a team rule. He paid his price, and now we’ll move on,”
Collins finished with 105 yards rushing on 15 carries. Griffins quarterback Mason Nickens had 111 yards rushing, and completed 4-of-6 passes for 85 yards.
East Ascension (4-3, 0-2) was led by Jamarcus Jarvis, who had 100 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. The Spartans led 18-7 at the half, but lost momentum as Dutchtown gained a full head of steam in the third quarter.
“We knew Collins was out,” East Ascension coach Paul Bourgeois said. “He not only made a difference on the field, he made a difference in their morale. It was probably a little more extreme because they got behind. It was a build-up to the return of Collins, and it exploded on us.”
Collins entered the game in the third quarter after Alex Thibodeaux’ interception gave the Griffins a first down at the EA 14. On his first play, Collins took a handoff around right end for a touchdown.
Down 18-14, Dutchtown continued to put a defensive clamp on the Spartans holding them to just 5 yards in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Collins capped a 59-yard drive with a 15-yard scoring run.
Collins added two fourth-quarter touchdown runs as Dutchtown gave itself breathing room.
“We looked like a different ballclub (in the second half),” Saia said. “That’s what we expect every week.”
In the first half, Dutchtown seemingly could do no right while East Ascension could do no wrong.
Dutchtown’s Corey Mcbride fumbled the opening kickoff out of bounds at the DHS 13. Two plays later Mason Nickens overthrew Torrance Mosley only to be intercepted by EA’s Ruben Stephens.
Stephens returned the interception to the Dutchtown 22, and East Ascension capitalized in short order. Jarvis picked up 5 on 4th-and-2 at the Dutchtown 14. Two plays later Deandrus Ennis took a direct snap and scored from 5 yards out on third-and-goal.
The snap for the extra point was low, but Adam Miller recovered and threw to Devin Speligene for the two-point conversion.
Dutchtown, which didn’t gain a first down until the last play of the first quarter, went three and out on its second possession. EA’s Dennis Duronslet’s had an 83-yard punt return nullified by a holding penalty, but the Spartans drove down the field anyway.
Starting at its 7, East Ascension moved to a first down inside the DHS 20. As the second quarter began, the teams traded turnovers before the Spartans eventually settled for a 25-yard Mason Decoteau field goal.
Facing its largest deficit of the season, Dutchtown took the kickoff and went 61 yards in eight plays to trim the lead to 11-7. Nickens provided the score on a 4-yard run.
Starting at its 20, East Ascension came right back. On third-and-2 from the EAHS 40, Jarvis found a hugh hole up the middle for a 60-yard scoring run.
Decoteau’s extra pont gave the Spartans an 18-7 halftime lead.