ST. AMANT - It took an extra period, but East Ascension hit its mark.
Spartans kicker Mason Decoteau connected on a 24-yard field goal in overtime delivering a thrilling cap to a defensive struggle, and escaping the Pit with a 10-7 win over archrival St. Amant.
Just one possession earlier, St. Amant pushed right a 25 yard field goal try during the first possession in the overtime period.
East Ascension nearly won in regulation, as running back Sione Palelei bulled his way 15 yards before being called down at the 1 as time expired in regulation.
“This was a game of respect for both teams,” East Ascension coach Paul Bourgeois said. “We had trouble with their triple option all night, but both teams were able to keep the other out of the end zone.”
Once the teams entered the red zone, both defenses stiffened, making scoring opportunities scant.
“I’m very happy for (field goal kicker) Mason (Decoteau), Bourgeois said. “He is a soccer player, and this is his first year kicking. And he never missed an extra point.”
St. Amant received solid offensive rushing production from quarterback Tyler Guillory as his triple option keepers, especially in the first half, put the Spartans defense back on its heels.
However, the Gators triple option also proved its undoing as a third-period Guillory pitch was disrupted by the Spartan rush at the EAHS 31-yard line and fumbled back to the Spartans, which took the air out of a strong second-half drive by the Gators.
With three minutes remaining, EAHS took control and went on nine-play drive that ended at the 1-yard line as time expired.
Neither team scored in the first half. However, on its first possession in the second half, St. Amant put together a nine-play, 45-yard drive after returning the opening second-half kickoff to the Spartan 45.
Gators running back Cameron Morris got the game’s initial score plunging in from 4 yards out.
But East Ascension answered with a 10-play drive. Sione Palelei pulled his team even with a 10-yard run after the Spartans drove down to the Gator s10.
Then, once again, the defenses took over.
In the overtime period, both defenses were stingy. The East Ascension defense proved pivotal in pushing back the Gators’ overtime possession. St. Amant had its chance to put the pressure back onto its rival but could not hit the field goal.
St. Amant came out clad in bright orange jerseys to parody its rivals donning hunter orange.