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Assumption outguns Ellender, 56-32

Assumption running back Acquindas Brown (2) runs through the middle of the Ellender defense in a 56-32 District 8-4A opening victory by the Mustangs on Friday night in Napoleonville. (Photo by Abby Tabor/Staff)

NAPOLEONVILLE — Friday's homecoming game pitting Assumption High against Ellender looked more like a track meet than a football game with each team's offense racing up and down the field on the other's defense.

In the end, Assumption's defense clamped down in the second half, allowing only six Ellender points, on its way to posting a 56-32 District 8-4A opening win.

The first half ended with Assumption (4-2, 1-0 in district) holding a 36-26 edge. Both teams combined for 633 yards of total offense in the first half.

Ellender coach Terry Washington said his team needed to be more in the game mentally than it was.

"I told them that they were a good football team. Against teams like that you can't afford not to get off to a solid star, and we didn't," said Washington, referring to a missed opportunity on Assumption's first drive when the Mustangs converted on a fourth-and-17 from Ellender's 18-yard line.

Although it came early in the contest, Assumption coach Tony Paine said the 18-yard touchdown completion from quarterback Cameron Blame to Dewayne Jackson was key.

"In a situation like that I'll always go for it because I'm not confident enough in our kicking game to do anything else. Thankfully, we saw something on offense we thought we could get. We sort of got a break because I think one of their guys tipped the ball, but we still made the grab," Paine said.

Following a successful two-point conversion by wide receiver Dejuawn Oliver to make it 8-0 with 8:09 remaining in the first quarter, Assumption wasted little time in getting their next score.

After going three-and-out on its first series, Ellender (3-3, 0-1 in district) gave the ball back to Assumption who immediately found pay dirt on an 88-yard Oliver run to put his team in front 14-0 at the 6:43 mark.

Ellender responded on its following possession taking the ball 62 yards on five plays for the score. Quarterback Dustin Creppel, who went 21-of-35 for 300 yards and five touchdowns with one interception, hit Dan Mitchell from 28 yards out to make it 14-6 after a failed two-point try.

After a big return set up another Mustangs score on Dequam Tucker 2-yard run at the 3:53 mark of the first quarter, Ellender's Creppel threw an 81-yard strike to Mitchell 18 seconds later to make the count 22-12.

Assumption scored twice more before half thanks to a pair of long drives that ended with touchdowns from 3 and 22 yards out, respectively.

Not to be outdone, Ellender found the end zone two times in the final 4 minutes of the half to cut its deficit to 10 at the break.

The scores came on a pair of Creppel touchdown throws, one to Kevin Lucien from 16 yards out and the other to Thomas Johnson from 32 yards away.

Assumption only allowed one score in the second half versus the three they put on the board.

Blame scored twice on a pair of quarterback keepers, while Tucker notched the final touchdown on a 4-yard run with 4:35 left in the game.

Assumption tallied 478 yards of total offense with Oliver and Acquindas Brown leading the way with 119 and 111 yards on the ground.

"This was a good win for us against a quality district opponent. I have to say how impressed I am with what Coach Washington is doing over there at Ellender," ," Paine said. "They are going to be a tough team in this district moving forward, and I'm just glad we came out on the winning end."

Washington said he's hoping his team uses this loss as a motivator moving forward.

"We have to get better as a team and sharper mentally," he said. "One thing is for sure and that is things aren't going to get any easier next week when we have to play Morgan City and then East Jefferson."