East Ascension dominates second half to drop St. Amant, 34-7

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GONZALES – In the Ascension Parish clash, the East Ascension Spartan trailed 7-3 with just a one minute to play in the first half with the St. Amant Gators (5-5, 2-3) driving. That’s when Jyren Ester changed the course of the game.

Dropping back into the coverage, Ester intercepted Cole Poirrier and raced 84 yards to paydirt to give his Spartans a 10-7 advantage at the break. East Ascension went on to blank St. Amant in the second half of a 34-7 win Friday night.

East Ascension added to their lead quickly in the second half as Hobart Grayson grabbed a 71-yard toss from Cameron Jones less then two minutes into the third quarter.

On the Gators’ opening drive of the half, Poirrier fumbled under pressure and Demarcus Esther recovered the loose ball and set up a four-yard scoring toss from Jones to Jyrin Johnson to make it 24-7.

“Every year in this rivalry since I’ve been here, each game has seen big momentum swing plays.” East Ascension head coach Darnell Lee. “Late in the first half and then early in the second, we made two big defensive plays and just kept the momentum going.”

East Ascension (8-2 4-1) suffocated St. Amant quarterback Poirrier, who completed 13-foof9 for 108 yards,

“East Ascension is a very good team. We were up 7-3 felt good, but that interception took the wind out of our sails,” St. Amant Coach David Oliver said. “They got over the top in the first possession of the second half and then we fumbled on the first play. That pretty much was the ballgame.”

The Spartans added 10 points in the fourth quarter with Alex Phelps’ 30-yard field goal and Jyrin Johnson’s second touchdown grab on a five-yard catch with just under four minutes to play.

Both teams got off to slow offensive starts, stopped on fourth downs around midfield on their opening drives.

East Ascension scored first on a 37-yard Phelps field goal with just over six minutes to play in the half. St. Amant took their only lead of the contest with a seven-play, 75-yard drive capped by a two-yard run by Reggie Sims.

“Our defensive front got after them tonight,” Lee said. “We got eight of those guys (on defense) coming back next year, too.”

The Spartans certainly appear ready for the postseason. Ranked third in the Class 5A power rankings coming into the final week, East Ascension will host an opening round game next Friday. St. Amant came in 33rd and likely saw their season come to an end.

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