After playing Dutchtown to a 14-14 draw in the first half, East Ascension unleashed a potent rushing attack in the second half and the Spartans notched their first District 5-5A victory with a 35-20 win over Dutchtown Friday night at Griffin Field.

Running back Walter Samuel scored four touchdowns for East Ascension (2-3, 1-1) and the Spartans rushed for 210 yards on just 12 carries after halftime.

Dutchtown (4-2, 0-2) lost for the second straight week in district play. The Griffins amassed 350 total yards of offense but they weren’t able to match the big plays made by the Spartan offense.

Dylan Sampson led Dutchtown with 96 yards on 17 carries. Quarterback Pierson Parent added 82 rushing yards for the Griffins.

The teams alternated scores in the first half. East Ascension could have had the lead at halftime, but they lost two fumbles, including one at the Dutchtown 10-yard line.

How it was won

The Spartans scored on their first drive of the second half to take a 21-14 lead. A Dutchtown punt on the ensuing possession pinned the Spartans at their own 1-yard line.

With a chance to stop the Spartans and force a punt that would likely result in good field position, two key plays went against Dutchtown.

On third-and-5 from the 6, a defensive pass interference penalty gave East Ascension a first down.

Then on third-and 17 from the 16, Spartan quarterback Troy Dunn scrambled and found Ja’Quel Mack for a 19-yard completion and a first down.

On the following play, Samuel sprinted through the middle of the Griffin defense for a 65-yard touchdown run that gave the Spartans a 28-14 lead.

Jacorey Johnson added a 19-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to expand the lead to 35-14.

Player of the game

RB Walter Samuel, East Ascension: Samuel only carried the ball 11 times but he piled up 169 yards, averaging 15.4 yards per carry, and scored on four of those carries. Samuel also caught three passes for 30 yards.

They said it

Dutchtown coach Guy Mistretta: “There were two big plays in the third quarter on third down where I thought we were in position. Their quarterback extended it and we fell off the receiver. Those have to be our plays, but credit them (East Ascension). Then in the fourth quarter, we gave up big plays on the inside.”

East Ascension coach Darnell Lee: “At halftime, we preached that we were shooting ourselves in the foot. We wanted to stick to our ground game and keep the clock running and the chain moving and play keep-away from them (Dutchtown). We have worked too hard and been through too much to be this close and not finish games. Tonight we did.”