Bulldogs win big, despite lethargic effort
Ascension Catholic was struggling Thursday night against KIPP Renaissance. They were turning the ball over in bunches, and they had just given up 20 unanswered points.
They needed someone to step up and give them a spark.
So, they went to one of the guys that spearheaded their run to the Superdome last year, a guy that ran for over 1,600 yards and more than 20 touchdowns. That guy was Jai Williams.
They kept feeding Williams the ball, and he kept making big plays. By the time it was over, he had scored five touchdowns for the second straight game.
The result was a 56-26 drubbing of KIPP Renaissance.
It was expected that Williams would see a heavy workload with running mate Jamar Barber out for the game. Barber was serving a one-game suspension due to his ejection from the Bulldogs’ game the previous week.
But early on against the Bobcats, it wasn’t Williams making the big plays; it was Jamar Barber’s younger brother, Dorian.
On Ascension Catholic’s second offensive play of the game, Dorian Barber broke free on a 33-yard touchdown run.
With the Bulldogs’ starting kicker and backup kicked dinged up, they were forced to go for two points every time they scored. They converted the first attempt to make it 8-0 early.
On their next possession, it took them just four plays to score. It was Barber again as he reeled off a 37-yard touchdown run off of an option pitch to put the Bulldogs up 16-0 after one.
Midway through the second quarter, Ascension Catholic recovered a fumble at the KIPP 24. Five plays later, quarterback John Mire hit Eric Simon, Jr. for a 12-yard score to extend the lead to 22-0.
It was then that the Bulldogs got sloppy, and the Bobcats took advantage.
After KIPP made a field goal, they picked off Rodney Blanchard at the Ascension Catholic 30-yard line.
The Bobcats scored a touchdown five plays later to cut the deficit to 22-10 at halftime.
The Bulldog offense was limited to just 18 offensive plays in the first half.
On Ascension Catholic’s opening drive of the second half, they moved into Bobcat territory, but an errant snap was recovered by KIPP and returned for a touchdown to get them within 22-17.
The Bobcats added a 45-yard field goal to cut the Bulldog advantage to 22-20 late in the third quarter.
With KIPP in control of all the momentum, Williams put his team on his shoulders.
On Ascension Catholic’s next drive, he scored on a beautiful 40-yard run where he cut across the field. This made it 28-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
Midway through the final period, Williams struck again. This time, he scored from 28 yards out to give the Bulldogs some breathing room at 34-20.
Williams kept putting on a show.
He closed the game with three more touchdowns. One was a three-yard reception, and the other two came on the ground from 51 and 27 yards out.
Altogether, Williams carried the ball 16 times for 278 yards and four touchdowns. He caught two passes for 33 yards and a score.
“He’s a really good back. He’s one of the best running backs in the state of Louisiana, regardless of any classification,” Bulldog head coach Drey Trosclair said. “He can start on anyone’s football team. He’s just a tremendous football player. We rode his back tonight. He did a great job for us carrying the offense with Jamar being out this week. We’re really pleased with how he played.”
Barber had 96 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries.
In total, Ascension Catholic out-gained KIPP 452-199. However, Trosclair was not pleased with how his team played for the majority of the game.
“We played very bad football for a while in this game. This was our worst game by far this year,” Trosclair said. “We have a lot of things to clean up when we watch the film. We made a ton of mistakes, and we have to get better. Nothing against those guys, but when we play a better football team, we have to have our A-game, because this isn’t going to be good enough.”