East Ascension head coach Darnell Lee coaches against St. Amant, Friday, November 2, 2018, at East Ascension High School in Gonzales, La.

East Ascension football coach Darnell Lee had a wide array of emotions when the LHSAA released its football playoff pairings Sunday.

Of course, Lee was proud the Spartans (9-1) claimed the No. 5 seed to lead all local Class 5A teams. The EAHS coach also wants to make sure his team leaves nothing to chance.

“There is a lot to be proud and happy about,” Lee said. “Going 9-1 is something special, especially considering the fact that we played a tough schedule. We lost to Catholic, but that is something I think can help us as the playoffs begin.”

East Ascension hosts No. 28 East St. John (5-5) to open the 5A playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at Spartan Stadium. The Wildcats enter the playoffs on a three-game winning streak.

“They are a very good team and a talented team that has improved through the season and you can see that on film,” Lee said of ESJHS. “We need to be ready for that. In the playoffs, you have to be able to take your game to a higher level.”

A key goal for East Ascension is to get past the second round of the playoffs. A year ago, the Spartans were the No. 6 seed and beat East Jefferson in the first round before losing 34-26 to another local team, Live Oak, in the second round.

More motivation? Lee thinks so.

About those guys

East St. John has some ties to the local area in first-year coach Brandon Brown and offensive coordinator Kris Peters.

Brown, a former ESJHS player, coached St. Helena to the Class 2A title game a year ago. Peters, a former Southern Lab standout, was the offensive coordinator at Scotlandville the past three years.

The other connection? Peters and Brown were college teammates at Alcorn State.

Family ties

St. Amant athletic trainer Scott Arceneaux will be busy with the Gators in their Class 5A playoff game against Captain Shreve in Shreveport on Friday. However, Arceneaux also be watching for results of another game involving a local team.

Defending Class 3A champion West Feliciana, a No. 20 seed, travels to play No. 13 Church Point (7-3). Arceneaux’s brother, John Craig, is the Church Point coach.

Know your sites

Speaking of St. Amant, the No. 17 Gators (7-3) play No. 16 Captain Shreve (7-3) at Lee Hedges Stadium in Shreveport Friday. 

Also of note, Scotlandville (4-5), seeded 11th in Division I, faces No. 6 Brother Martin (6-4) on Friday at Tad Gormley Stadium.

Follow Robin Fambrough on Twitter, @FambroughAdv.