St. Amant holds off rival EA in wild finish

Our defense and special teams did a great job.You’ve got to give EA a lot of credit. They played their hearts out, and that’s what rivalry games are all about.” DAVID OLIVER, St. Amant coach

GONZALES — St. Amant turned back East Ascension three times from the Spartans 10 in the final 30 seconds to take a 15-10 District 5-5A victory on Friday night at Spartan Stadium.

“Our defense and special teams did a great job,” said St. Amant coach David Oliver, who got a water bucket shower immediately after the game ended. “You’ve got to give EA a lot of credit. They played their hearts out, and that’s what rivalry games are all about.”

This matchup between Ascension Parish arch-rivals had a little bit of everything to match the wild ending. St. Amant (7-2, 3-2) received a pregame 15-yard penalty for wearing orange jerseys, pants and socks, and a press box window was broken after a Gators safety.

The contest almost didn’t end in the Gators’ favor.

A 60-yard pass from East Ascension quarterback Layne Trahan to Devin Speligene moved the Spartans (4-6, 2-3) to the St. Amant 16 in the final minute and a half. A 13-yard Michael Sparrow run moved EA to the Gators 3 as the clock continued to tick.

As time continued to run, Sparrow was stopped for no gain on first down, then suffered a 4-yard loss on a Trahan pass on second down to push EA back to the 7. On third and goal, St. Amant’s Nathan Martinez sacked Trahan for a 4-yard loss at the 11. On fourth down, the Spartans spiked the ball to end the threat.

“We were able to control the field position and burn their timeouts,” Oliver said. “And they got down to the end and just didn’t have enough time.”

Trahan threw for 167 yards, 116 of them to Speligene. East Ascension’s Sparrow led all rushers with 96 yards.

EA controlled the early part of the game in jumping out to a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

“St. Amant does a great job with the schemes they have,” said East Ascension coach Paul Bourgeois, who took the loss hard. “They do a bunch, and it’s not just doing stuff to be doing it.

“Your week-long (preparation) for those guys is real tough on both sides of the ball. And I think our first half was a sign that our kids and coaches did a good job against them.”

Adam Bosworth’s 25-yard field goal gave the Spartans a 3-0 edge with 2:02 to go.

EA boosted its cushion to 10-0 on its first possession of the second period. TJ Miles’ 14-yard run with 9:47 left before halftime capped a 60-yard scoring drive.

St. Amant answered on the next series. Cody Raffray finished a 58-yard drive with a 1-yard run off a direct snap to cut EA’s lead to 10-6 with 3:43 remaining in the first half.

The Gators defense helped St. Amant take the lead in the final minute before halftime. Alex Derouselle returned an interception 40 yards to the EA 10. Two plays later, Kirk Elisar took a direct snap and ran into the end zone from 7 yards out. Trey Belleu’s extra point gave St. Amant a 13-10 lead with 51.2 seconds left in the second quarter.

St. Amant went up 15-10 thanks to a solid group special teams effort. Tyler Briley fielded a punt from Jacob Morales at the EA 5, and ran wide back into the end zone in trying to get the outside corner. But he was bottled up in the end zone for St. Amant’s two points and what turned out to be the final points of the game.