Ouachita Christian tops Ascension Catholic in battle for spot in Superdome

Staff Report
Ascension Catholic head coach Chris Sanders addresses  the team following the Bulldog's win over Opelousas Catholic in the quarterfinal playoff game at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium Nov. 25.

No. 3 Ouachita Christian advanced with a 42-14 win over No. 10 Ascension Catholic in the semifinals Dec. 2 at Steven Fitzhugh Field in Monroe.

The last standing Ascension Parish team in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association football playoffs, the Bulldogs season ended with three wins in the LHSAA Division IV Select bracket. Their run included a 49-6 win over No. 23 Lincoln Preparatory School, a 38-31 victory over No. 7 Riverside Academy, and a 28-12 win over Opelousas Catholic.

Ouachita Chrisitan will face Vermilion Catholic in the championship game. In the other semifinal, Vermilion Catholic advanced with a 41-7 win over St. Martin's.

The last time Ascension Catholic made it to the semifinals round was four years ago. The Bulldogs were state runner-up in back-to-back seasons as they had championship game appearances in New Orleans in both 2017 and 2018.

During the regular season, the Bulldogs were 8-2, losing close games to Class 2A teams. In late September, Dunham (9-1) edged ACHS 20-19 and Episcopal (9-1) claimed a 33-28 win over the Bulldogs.

Ascension Catholic quarterback Bryce Leonard (12) and wide receiver Brooks Leonard (13) celebrate a touchdown during the Bulldogs' 28-12 quarterfinals win over Opelousas Catholic at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium in Donaldsonville on Nov. 25.

Senior Bryce Leonard (QB/DB) led the Bulldogs as a four-year starter at quarterback. In the quarterfinals game against Opelousas Catholic, he accounted for all four touchdowns. He ran in two and threw touchdown passes to his senior classmates, his twin brother Brooks Leonard (WR/DB) and Trent Landry (TE/DL).

The seniors were key contributors on both sides of the ball and special teams throughout the 2022 season. The class also includes Casey Mays (RB/DB), Layton Melancon (WR/DB/K), Jacob Latino (RB/DB), Landon Szubinski (RB/DB/P) Calvin Delone (WR/DB), Noah Robicheaux (RB/DB), Mason Pearce (WR/DL), LaShawn Bell (OL/DL), and Patrick Cancienne (LB/OL).

Here are the results of all Louisiana high school football semifinals games played Dec. 2:

Division IV Select

Ouachita Christian 42, Ascension Catholic 14

Vermilion Catholic 41, St. Martin’s 7

Division IV Non-Select

Homer 38, Mangham 18

Oak Grove 48, Haynesville 7

Division III Select

Dunham 35, University (Lab) 28

St. Charles Catholic 17, NDHS 10

Division III Non-Select

Many 32, St. James 13

Union Parish 28, Amite 8

Division II Select

Lafayette Christian Academy 68, Teurlings Catholic 46

St. Thomas More 38, E.D. White 7

Division II Non-Select

Lutcher 35, West Feliciana 21

North DeSoto 38, Iowa 9

Division I Select

Brother Martin 55, Carencro 24

John Curtis Christian 24, Baton Rouge Catholic 21

Division I Non-Select

Destrehan 21, Westgate 6

Ruston 37, Zachary 22

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.