Bulldog offense too much for Sophie B. Wright

Kyle Riviere
Ascension Catholic quarterback John Mire (No. 6) threw for 51 yards and a score. He also had 61 yards receiving with two touchdowns against Wright. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Ascension Catholic's offense is usually the one making all the big plays, but they had company on Thursday night.

Sophie B. Wright put up 27 first-half points on the Bulldogs.

Head coach Drey Trosclair challenged his defense to shut out the Warriors in the second half, and they obliged.

Their second-half dominance transformed what was a razor-thin contest to a complete blowout. Ascension Catholic outscored Wright 20-0 in the final 30 minutes to run away with a 68-27 victory.

“Offensively, we were great all night, but we came out sloppy defensively," Trosclair said. "That wasn’t our typical Ascension Catholic defense. We haven’t been able to practice much with the way the weather has been, and those guys are a passing team, and we’ve played a lot of run-heavy teams so far.

"I think not being able to get those practice reps hurt us a little bit, but you have to give credit to those guys. They have really good players. They made some big plays, but I was happy with the way the defense responded in the second half.”

Junior running back Jai Williams put on a show in the first half. He scored the Bulldogs' first three touchdowns.

First, he broke loose on a 38-yard touchdown run on the opening drive. On their second drive, he scored from 17 yards out.

On the third drive, he caught a 26-yard touchdown pass that put Ascension Catholic ahead, 21-7.

His running mate Jamar Barber got into the act to begin the second quarter. He broke loose on a 19-yard touchdown run following a blocked punt to put the Bulldogs ahead, 28-13.

However, Wright answered with two scores.

To end a six-play, 69-yard drive, Tyree Skipper connected with Michael Jackson for a touchdown.

The Warriors recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. On the very next play, Skipper hit Jackson for a thrilling 62-yard score to cut the deficit to 28-27.

From there, it was all Bulldogs.

On the first play of Ascension Catholic's next drive, Williams sprung free on a 64-yard touchdown run that ended a stretch of three scores in a span of 40 seconds.

To close out the first half, Williams scored on a 16-yard touchdown run, and Rodney Blanchard connected with Eric Simon, Jr. on a 30-yard score to put Ascension Catholic ahead, 48-27.

To begin the third quarter, John Mire threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to freshman J'mond Tapp. He then caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Blanchard.

The Bulldogs' final score came midway through the third quarter following an interception by Simon. Mire made another touchdown grab to complete a 68-27 drubbing.

Williams finished the game with 165 yards rushing and four touchdown on just nine carries. He also had 35 yards receiving with a score.

Barber finished the night with 88 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries.

The two-quarterback system worked well for the Bulldogs.

Mire went 5-8 for 51 yards with a touchdown. He also had four catches for 61 yards and two scores. Blanchard went 7-12 for 130 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for an additional 54 yards and a score.

“I don’t have any intention of stopping right now. I think it’s worked really well for us so far," Trosclair said. "Both John and Rodney are doing a really good job back there completing passes to different receivers. They mix and match. When John wasn’t playing quarterback tonight, he had two touchdown catches. They’re really competing, but they’re pulling for each other, too.”

The Bulldog offense dominated as they piled up 502 total yards.

Although, there are still areas where Trosclair wants his team to improve.

“I think we just need to get in better shape," Trosclair said. "We cramped the entire night, which you can credit to not being able to practice a whole bunch. This was the first game where our starters played all four quarters. So, we have to get into game shape.”

Next, the 2-0 Bulldogs will be at home for another Thursday night matchup. They'll meet KIPP Renaissance.