MANDEVILLE — Mason Lemieux intercepted a Layne Trahan pass in the closing minutes and James Trueting capped a scoring drive with a 1-yard run as Mandeville came from behind to defeat East Ascension 27-26 on Thursday night.
Trahan passed for 321 yards and four touchdowns, but five interceptions doomed the Spartans. Todd Primo snatched three from Trahan in the first half while Lemieux took away two in the second half.
East Ascension built a 19-7 lead in the first half, but was unable to keep pace in the second because of multiple turnovers.
Chad Hill was the Spartans’ leading receiver with five catches for 80 yards and a score.
It didn’t seem to matter to Mandeville that the Spartans had outscored their last two opponents 107-6 as it applied pressure and kept Trahan running for much of the game. Sometimes they gambled and won, and other times, Trahan made Mandeville pay with scoring passes of 74, 59, and 10 yards.
EAHS led 26-14, but a 57-yard scoring run by Nate VanHorn gave Mandeville renewed optimism which it kept building upon, getting to within five.
The teams combined for 12 turnovers, and it looked as if East Ascension would be the one to cash in. Mandeville was able to convert in the second half. Perhaps another telling statistic was the running game, as the Spartans had just 2 yards on 15 carries.
The Spartans had visions of avenging last year’s defeat. Wasting little time, EA scoring on its first possession, courtesy of a 74-yard pass from Layne Trahan to Sione Pelelei. The extra point from Mason Decoteau gave EA a 7-0 lead wbarely two minutes into the game.
Outside of the long pass, the Mandeville defense made life tough for Trahan as Primo snatched a pair of interceptions. The running game had great difficulty as evidenced by no gain longer than 6 yards in the first period.
It was the second quarter which proved to be the coming out part for East Ascension as Chad Hill emerged from a thick group of blue jerseys for a 59-yard catch from Trahan. Devin Speligene capped an eight-play, 54-yard drive after the Spartans recovered a Mandeville fumble for a 19-7 halftime lead.