After a tremendous season that saw Ascension Catholic win four district contests and host a first-round playoff game, the Bulldogs' season came to an end last Friday night against Southern Lab.

After a tremendous season that saw Ascension Catholic win four district contests and host a first-round playoff game, the Bulldogs’ season came to an end last Friday night against Southern Lab.

Ascension Catholic played well against the third-seeded Kittens on the road. They only trailed 20-13 late, but some big plays in the fourth quarter allowed the defending Division IV champs to pull away with a 36-13 victory.

The Bulldogs were able to reach the second-round game after an impressive victory over 11th-seeded St. Edmund.

Behind more than 200 yards rushing and five total touchdowns by running back Jamar Barber, Ascension Catholic exploded for 21 first-quarter points.

From there, they rolled to a 35-7 victory. It was their first playoff win in three years.

That set up the second-round matchup with the Kittens, a district foe that beat Ascension Catholic, 50-0, when the two teams met earlier in the season. In that blowout loss, the Bulldogs were held to just over 100 yards of total offense.

Things were different this time around.

Ascension Catholic got off to a great start and was able to hang around for much of the game.

The Bulldogs actually led the game by a 7-6 score early, but the defending champs countered to take a 20-13 halftime lead.

With 113 total yards, Ascension Catholic had more yards in the first half than they had in the entire game against the Kittens when they met during the regular season.

To start the second half, the Bulldogs had a great chance to tie the game or even take the lead as they forced two Southern Lab turnovers.

However, both the fumble and interception could not be converted into points by the Ascension Catholic offense.

The 20-13 lead remained until midway through the fourth quarter. That’s when two big plays by the Kittens sealed the victory.

Charles Thornton broke loose on touchdown runs of 61 and 39 yards. He finished the game with 117 yards and those two scores.

Southern Lab quarterback Quincy Filmore completed seven of 11 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score.

The Kitten defense stepped up in the second half. They held the Bulldogs to just 73 total yards and no points in the final two quarters.

The season ends for Ascension Catholic with a final record of 7-5. It was a huge improvement from last year’s 3-7 finish, when they missed the postseason.

During the playoff run, second-year head coach Drey Trosclair was thrilled with the progress his team has made since last season.

He said, “We doubled our win total from last year. Last year, we went 3-7 and missed out on the playoffs, and we didn’t like the way that felt. We attacked this season making sure we didn’t have that feeling again. We went 6-4 in the best district in 1A football. We’re just going to keep on building. The sky is the limit.

Though the Bulldogs will lose key seniors in quarterback Javon Yarbrough, offensive lineman DJ Giroir and receivers Jacoby Stewart and Kebori Hunter, they’ll return many of their best players in 2017.

Running backs Jai Williams and Barber will return, along with defensive lineman Dillion Davis, linebacker Bubba Gautreau and defensive back Mason Zeringue.