East Ascension, St. Amant part of logjam at top of District 5-5A
“We know St. Amant is a team that won’t make many mistakes. We’ll need to do everything we can to give ourselves momentum.” Paul bourgeois, East Ascension coach
The St. Amant-East Ascension football rivalry is like no other in Ascension Parish.
More than bragging rights will be on the line when EAHS (7-1, 2-1) hosts St. Amant (6-2, 2-1) for a District 5-5A game that highlights the schedule of games in Classes 5A/4A in the Baton Rouge area Friday night.
“Both schools and communities put so much into this,” St. Amant coach David Oliver said. “Because of that, it’s a big game even if the teams aren’t having a good year.
“When you take the situation we’re in, it just adds to it. Both of us need to win to keep our hopes for a district title alive.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at EAHS’ Spartan Stadium located at Gonzales Primary School. Oliver’s Gators lead the series 17-16 by virtue of last year’s 15-10 win in which the SAHS defense held the Spartans out of the end zone from inside its own 10-yard line in the closing seconds. EAHS won 10-7 in 2011, making a game-winning field goal on the final play.
Both teams lost 5-5A games last week in dramatic fashion. St. Amant lost to Woodlawn 28-27 in overtime, while EAHS lost 7-6 to Dutchtown.
Those losses dropped the teams into a 5-5A tie with Dutchtown (6-2, 2-1) and Catholic (6-2, 2-1). The math-made-simple explanation is this — the team that manages to win its final two games will be the district champion. St. Amant plays Dutchtown next week, while Catholic meets EAHS.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Dutchtown, because they beat us,” EAHS coach Paul Bourgeois said. “But we were a little discouraged afterwards. When I heard about the St. Amant game, I breathed a little sigh of relief because I knew we weren’t the only ones who lost a tough one.
“Now we’re both facing the same scenario. There’s always plenty riding on this game, but with the district race and how well both teams are doing it definitely adds more to it.”
Layne Trahan has completed 127-of-200 passes for 1,735 yards and 15 touchdowns to lead an East Ascension team that has adjusted to the season-ending knee injury suffered by running back Sione Palelei, an LSU commitment. Joshua Walker has 368 rushing yards and three TDs, while receiver Chad Hill has 36 catches for 559 yards and nine touchdowns.
St. Amant lost its second-leading rusher Ricky Williams to a broken ankle. Quarterback Tyler Dixon has a team-high 537 rushing yards and seven TDs. Dixon also has 933 passing yards and nine TDs. Marquise Hampton has 27 catches for 393 yards and five TDs for the Gators.
“(The Spartans) are a talented team,” Oliver said. “They’re a team that’s good in all three phases of the game. Last week they blocked a punt and a field goal.
“They’re solid on defense and on offense. They’ve got the Trahan kid who’s a senior leader, and he distributes the ball well. We’re going to need to play our best against them.”
Oliver said ball security and controlling emotions are keys. Bourgeois said solid defense and a finding a way to make a big play at the right time as crucial.
“We know St. Amant is a team that won’t make many mistakes,” Bourgeois said.
“We’ll need to do everything we can to give ourselves momentum.”