Trojans fall in heartbreaking fashion, 35-34

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 10:43 PM CST
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - For the first time in program history, the Alexandria Senior High Trojans had the spotlight on them by making a historic run in the 2020 season. Their Cinderella story came to an end when the Acadiana Rams defeated them 35-34 in the Class 5A State Championship game.

The Trojans became the first team from Central Louisiana to compete for a state championship since the Bolton Bears played in 1974. It’s been since 1960 that any team from the metro-area has come out on top.

In the first quarter, the jitters got the best of the Trojans. They collected four penalties for 19 yards. Acadiana took full advantage and struck first after Tyvin Zeno punched his way into the endzone for the first score of the game.

Trojans found a spark when Jarvis Newton made a 22-yard burst up the middle to the Acadiana 17. That same drive led to ASH’s first touchdown.

Defensively, the Trojans were matched evenly with Acadiana. Seniors Jermaine McNeal (15 tackles) and CJ Kittling finished the night with 14 tackles apiece.

Throughout the second quarter, the Trojan defense was tested. The Rams ran seven plays for 69 yards to put them up 14-7.

The defending champs never let up. After the Trojans fumbled at their own 18-yard line, Acadiana found their way back into the endzone to go up two possessions at the half.

Both teams traded three and outs at the start of the third. However, the Trojans found more life as senior quarterback Judd Barton fired to a wide-open Abu Kamara for a 28-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter.

Trojans kept their foot on the gas after CJ Kittling broke up an Acadiana pass to force a three and out. Following that drive, Jarvis Newton found his way in the endzone for the first time of the night, cutting the Rams’ lead to 28-21.

The ASH defense stiffened, forcing a fumble on first and 10, and sophomore defensive back John Parish recovered with under three minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The Trojans continued to fight late in the fourth when Barton connected with Graham Vaughn for 37 yards, cutting the Rams lead to 35-28.

ASH would recover an onside kick that would eventually lead to a Judd Barton to T.J. Johnson 16-yard touchdown, making the score 35-34.

What looked like a converted two-point conversion on a pass from Barton to Shield Taylor would be called back due to an illegal formation call.

The Trojan offense would attempt another two-point conversion, but it would lead to Judd Barton being intercepted and ended the game.

Offensively, Barton finished the night 19 of 30 on completed passes, 221 yards and three touchdowns. Jarvis Newton finished the night with 77 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, sophomore John Parish stunned the audience finishing the night with a fumble recovery and nine tackles.

ASH finishes the season at 7-2.

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