Bulldogs end losing streak with shutout win over Lions

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Collin Landry (No. 10) and the Bulldog defense held Ascension Christian to just 91 total yards. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Ascension Catholic had dropped four straight games heading into last Friday night's Homecoming matchup with parish and district foe Ascension Christian. They took all of their frustrations out on the Lions.

The Bulldogs used an amazing offensive showcase by Kaleb Winchester and a dominant performance by their defense to blank Ascension Christian, 48-0.

First-year Ascension Catholic head coach Drey Trosclair was relieved to finally break back into the win column.

"It feels great--especially on a night like this with Homecoming," Trosclair said. "We have so many extra players back watching their alma mater and plenty of fans in the stands. To be able to put on a show like this against Ascension Christian, it was a treat for us to coach, and the players had a great time playing football, and that's what it's all about."

The Lions were going for what would have been their fourth victory of the year. That would have been the most single-season wins in their program's history.

However, they fell in a hole early, and they never came close to recovering.

"We lost the line of scrimmage. We had trouble running the ball," Lion head coach Josh Puryear said. "It's something that I hope we can learn from, but it's a tough loss for our guys. We're better than this. We just came out a little soft early on, and that set the tempo for the rest of the game."

After Ascension Christian went three and out on their opening possession, the Bulldogs marched 41 yards in five plays. They took a 7-0 lead with a 15-yard touchdown run by Jacob Lagrange.

On their next possession, it just took one play for them to score as Winchester exploded to the outside for a 52-yard run. After a successful two-point try, they led 15-0.

They ended the first quarter with a 91-yard scoring drive.

Winchester started it with a 51-yard gallop. He then finished it off on a swing pass out of the backfield where he reversed his field and sprinted to the other sideline for an 11-yard score to give Ascension Catholic a 21-0 lead.

"That was the first time all year that we've been able to have a lead heading into the second quarter," Trosclair said. "More than anything, it was refreshing that we were able to come out and play well in the first quarter. In the first quarter, we finally came out and played our style of football."

The Bulldogs added three more scores before halftime.

First, Winchester broke loose on a 38-yard touchdown run, and that was followed by a seven-yard score by Landon Landry.

Finally, quarterback Javon Yarbrough hit DC Mattingly for a 30-yard touchdown to give Ascension Catholic a 41-0 halftime lead.

To start the third quarter, Winchester struck again as he raced 70 yards for another score to give the Bulldogs a 48-0 lead.

Winchester had an amazing night. He touched the ball eight times and scored four touchdowns.

He finished with just six carries for 218 yards and three touchdowns. He added 16 receiving yards with another score.

Yarbrough went 10-16 passing for 156 yards and two scores, while adding 23 yards on the ground.

In his new role as wide receiver, Mattingly had five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.

The Ascension Catholic defense totally stymied the Lions. They were held to just 91 total yards.

Quarterback Chris Middleton went 10-19 for just 31 yards. He was held to just 40 yards rushing on 13 carries.

"The defense played lights out. They did a terrific job," Trosclair said. "They have some athletes on that team that you have to worry about. They're a pretty good ballclub, but we finally came out and executed a full game. All three phases played well, and we loved the results that we got."

As for the Lions, they dropped to 3-3 overall and 0-1 in the district.

Coach Puryear said that he hopes the team can learn from this loss.

"I hope our guys can find that they can believe in themselves," Puryear said. "They can believe in the work that they put in and the talent that they have, and they can believe in the culture we're trying to build. We still have a long way to go."