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East Ascension coach Darnell Lee


Eagles at Spartans

Sept. 27, 2019 at 7 p.m.


With Darnell Lee

Head Football Coach

East Ascension High School

Sports Scene: A big homecoming win this week against Northwest. It was close early on. What do you need to work on?

Coach Lee: It was the first game after the loss to Haughton and we have some guys that are learning to play together and building chemistry. Northwest did a good job of coming out. They had some playmakers and real active bodies on defense. I am familiar with them having coached there. I think the difference was we are a 5A team with more depth. The fatigue starts setting in and you see the difference.

Sports Scene: They took the lead briefly and then you had that long touchdown pass to Steven McBride.

Coach Lee: He is having a great year but we have to do a better job of getting the ball to him. He finished with three catches for 85 yards. He is a playmaker for us and I was excited for Jyrin Johnson who came in and had a great game also.

Sports Scene: Cameron Jones had an interception early on and got injured briefly but came back and finished with three touchdowns. How is he feeling?

Coach Lee: He was injured last week at Haughton and just toughed it out and finished the game. This week in practice he was hampered by that injury a little bit but came in and fought for us. I feel like he is improving week to week, learning from his mistakes and I am excited about his progress.

Sports Scene: It was your defense’s best performance of the season? You hold them to one touchdown.

Coach Lee: When you lose a game like we did to Haughton, that first half is going to be where you start to see the transition from guys getting over that loss and actually getting back to business. Our pass rush was kind of non-existent against Haughton and we challenged them this week. Jerrell Boykins responded and has a lot of potential with tremendous upside. He is a strong kid with speed and all the tools. I just think that last week kind of woke them up.

Sports Scene: Ethan Bagwell had a touchdown on the ground and also handles punts.

Coach Lee: He has been a surprise for us. He plays soccer so he has been kicking extra points and kickoffs as a backup. He is a senior now and said he could punt so we gave him a shot. I think he is averaging right at 40 yards a punt this season so to have a running back at punter with all the fake options opens the door for a lot.

Sports Scene: Next week you have Warren Easton. This is going to be a tough one?

Coach Lee: Yes it is and that is why we scheduled them. If you want to make it to that next level in the playoffs you have to play state championship caliber teams in the regular season and predistrict is all you really control. Fortunately for us we have teams in our district that also go to the playoffs on the regular.

Sports Scene: What kind of team are we looking at with Warren Easton?

Coach Lee: They have a running back who is committed to LSU and a center who just committed to Georgia. That is all you need up front. Their offensive line is big and physical. Their quarterback is a heck of a runner. His passing game leaves a little bit to be desired but he has long receivers who can run also and their secondary will play you man to man. I like our receivers odds but the main thing is being able to protect. I think it is a good matchup and am excited about the opportunity to get a team like that to come into Spartan Stadium.