This week marks the 75th anniversary of that championship victory for the Bulldogs.

On Dec. 8, 1941, Americans were still in shock over the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the previous day that claimed the lives of 2,335 soldiers and 68 civilians.

As a result, President Franklin Roosevelt stood before Congress on that day and gave his legendary “Infamy Speech” during a formal declaration of war against Japan.

In the midst to all of this chaos, grief, sorrow and fear, a group of young men in Ascension Parish had to find some way to hold it together as they prepared for a championship football game.

Ascension Catholic—then known as Catholic High School—did just that. On Dec. 14, just a week after the Peal Harbor attack, they claimed the school’s first ever football state title in DHS Tiger Stadium (now known as Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium).

This week marks the 75th anniversary of that championship victory for the Bulldogs.

Ascension Catholic was originally scheduled to play Newellton in the title game on Friday night, but the game was moved to Sunday afternoon because federal authorities didn’t want lights being on at night due to the Pearl Harbor attack.

The clash was built up as the biggest game ever to be played in the stadium and in the parish.

By the time the matchup rolled around, the stadium was busting at the seems. It was a standing-room only crowd of 4,000.

Ascension Catholic eventually won a razor-thin contest, 6-0, to capture the Class B state championship.

The Donaldsonville Chief wrote of the game: “Both teams performed skillfully, and the score hung at 0-0 until late in the game. Suddenly, lineman Steuart Falcon grabbed the ball and darted through the opposition like a wild pony, and scored the only touchdown of the game.”

The Bulldogs were coached that year by Brother Alton Truax.

A 1941 Chief article said of the coach: “If you don’t know him, you should know of him. He’s the honey-haired coach of the state champion Catholic High Bulldogs. He’s the skipper who took a small bunch of inexperienced boys and molded a state title winner.”

After the title win, Brother Alton and his players were brimming with emotion.

A Chief article states: “Brother Alton could hardly talk. His heart was so full of appreciation for the boys that he was speechless for the moment. It is no wonder that the look with Brother Alton gave each of his boys instilled in them the meaning of his appreciation. Finally, Brother Alton managed to get a few words in. He said, ‘I knew that my boys would not let us down.’”

Besides their head coach, the Bulldogs were led by three first-team All-State players that year in running back, defensive back and punter Robert Landry, guard Felix “Bay” Trapani and center Lester Rome.

A Chief article says of Rome: “You could not see Lester Rome, center, doing his magnificent defensive work because he was always at the bottom of the piles with his arms full of legs of opposing backs.”

In their championship run, Ascension Catholic tied Leon Godchaux (now East St. John), 6-6, beat Lutcher, 20-0, beat Thibodaux, 18-0, beat Jesuit, 18-0, beat Thibodaux College (now E.D. White), 12-0, tied St. James, 6-6, beat Kentwood, 6-0, and beat Landry Memorial (now St. Louis Catholic), 19-0, in the playoffs.

The Bulldogs’ only loss that season came on the road to Mississippi’s St. Stanislaus. This team was led by 1945 Heisman winner Felix “Doc” Blanchard.

Blanchard went on to play at Army and helped lead them to three national titles. He was a three-time All-American and the first junior ever to win the Heisman Trophy.

Blanchard was famously nicknamed “Mr. Inside” to teammate and 1946 Heisman winner Glenn Davis’ “Mr. Outside.”

This Ascension Catholic championship squad set the table for a tremendously successful football program that continues to carry an illustrious tradition today.

The Bulldogs would eventually win two state titles under head coach Bucky Mistretta in 1973 and 1992.

Bulldog starting lineup for the Class B title game:

Charles Canova - LE

Peter Russo - LT

Steuart Falcon - LG

Lester Rome - C

Felix “Bay” Trepani - RG

Felix Canova - RT

Conrad Picou - RE

Warren Ramirez - QB

Meredith Falcon - LH

Robert Landry - RH

Ward Ramirez - FB

*Tommy Bennett contributed to this article.