Bulldogs’ week-five opponent forced to forfeit

Kyle Riviere
Donaldsonville Chief
Bryce Leonard and Ascension Catholic will win their game against Thrive Academy by way of forfeit.

The first month of the high-school football season has been chaotic, to say the least, and that won’t be changing in week five for Ascension Catholic.

Just when things began to get back to normal for the Bulldogs, chaos again reared its ugly head and threw a monkey wrench in the team’s plans.

On Thursday night, Ascension Catholic was scheduled to face winless Thrive Academy in a non-district matchup at Plaquemine High. However, that game will no longer take place.

On Monday, Thrive was forced to forfeit the game due to a COVID-19 outbreak. So, the Bulldogs’ record will improve to 2-1, despite having its third game of the season scrapped.

The LHSAA made drastic changes for 2021 in regard to the virus.

Last season, when teams were unable to play due to COVID-19 outbreaks, the game was canceled and ruled a no contest.

But this season, when a team cannot compete due to a virus outbreak, that squad is forced to forfeit the matchup.

The LHSAA released a memo this summer stating, “We will not referee the alleged manipulation of COVID-issue relief to facilitate avoidance of opponents for sport-specific power-ranking reasons.

“Now, having preventative measures that can be taken to avoid issues with the virus, any/all reasons that may occur as it relates to COVID that prevents your school(s) not to fulfill a regular and/or postseason game, contest, match or meet will result in forfeiture.”

It’s just the latest game to get altered for Ascension Catholic.

The Bulldogs were all set for a road contest against Sci Academy in the Sept. 3 season opener, but that game was canceled due to Hurricane Ida. Ascension Parish School Board Superintendent David Alexander ruled that all parish high-school sports would be paused for the week.

All other Ascension high-school football teams returned to action the next week, but the Bulldogs did not.

Due to continued widespread power outages in Donaldsonville, Ascension Catholic decided to cancel its week-two game against Metairie Park Country Day.

Finally, the Bulldogs were able to return to the field in week three. Although, things couldn’t go on as originally scheduled.

Ascension Catholic was supposed to play Archbishop Hannan at home. But the new field turf being installed at Floyd Boutte Stadium was still not ready for game action. Therefore, the game was moved to Pearl River High School.

Playing away from home, the Bulldogs defeated Hannan, 30-8.

Last week, fourth-ranked Ascension Catholic went on the road to face 11th-ranked Vermillion Catholic. The Bulldogs were upset, 28-20.

It was the team’s first regular-season loss since 2018. The Bulldogs had won 20 straight regular-season games prior to the defeat.

Ascension Catholic was all set for its week-five game against Thrive, a team coached by former Donaldsonville player Devon Breaux. The game was to be played at Plaquemine due to the turf still not being complete at Floyd Boutte.

The 2-1 Bulldogs will now prepare for their District 7-1A opener. Ascension Catholic will visit White Castle next Friday night.