SPORTS

Ascension Catholic travels to Monroe to face Ouachita Christian in semifinals

Michael Tortorich
Donaldsonville Chief
Ascension Catholic linemen, including Kingston Cayette (74), Brennan Tripode (66), Luke Templet (77), and Aiden Payne (75), strategize with assistant coach Billy Brown during the Bulldogs' 28-12 quarterfinals win over Opelousas Catholic at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium in Donaldsonville.

No. 10 Ascension Catholic will take on No. 3 Ouachita Christian in the semifinals of the Division IV Select playoffs Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Steven Fitzhugh Field in Monroe.

OCHS defeated the Bulldogs from Donaldsonville 42-0 in last year's quarterfinals round of the playoffs.

The only Ascension Parish team remaining in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association football playoffs, the Bulldogs have collected three wins in the LHSAA Division IV Select bracket, including 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.

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

The winner of the Ascension Catholic and Ouachita Christian game will meet the winner of No. 1 Vermilion Catholic and No. 4 St. Martin's Episcopal Dec. 8-10 at the Ochsner LHSAA Prep Classic at the Ceasars Superdome in New Orleans.

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's Freddie Geason (70), Noah Robicheaux (8), Patrick Cancienne (52), and others  combine on a tackle during the Bulldogs' 28-12 quarterfinals win over Opelousas Catholic at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium in Donaldsonville.

Senior Bryce Leonard (QB/DB) has led the Bulldogs as a four-year starter at quarterback. In the last 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 have been 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 is the LHSAA football playoff schedule for the Louisiana high school state semifinals, set for Dec. 2.

Louisiana high school football playoffs: 2022 Semifinals pairings

Non Select

Division I

Zachary (9-2) at Ruston (11-0)

Westgate (10-3) at Destrehan (12-1)

Division II

North DeSoto (11-1) at Iowa (11-1)

Lutcher (12-1) at West Feliciana (12-0)

Division III

St. James (10-2) at Many (12-0)

Amite (10-3) at Union Parish (11-1)

Division IV

Oak Grove (10-3) at Haynesville (11-2)

Homer (9-3) at Mangham (10-1)

Ascension Catholic senior quarterback Bryce Leonard extends the ball into the end zone as he scores a touchdown on a run in the fourth quarter of the Bulldogs' 28-12 quarterfinals win over Opelousas Catholic at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium in Donaldsonville.

Select

Division I

Brother Martin (8-5) at Carencro (9-2)

John Curtis Christian (10-2) at Baton Rouge Catholic (11-1)

Division II

North DeSoto at Iowa

Lutcher at West Feliciana

Division II Select

E.D. White (11-1) at St. Thomas More (11-1)

Teurlings Catholic (11-1) at Lafayette Christian (9-3)

Division III

University Lab (9-3) at Dunham (11-1)

Notre Dame (10-2) at St. Charles (9-3)

Division IV

St. Martin’s (10-1) at Vermilion Catholic (12-0)

Ascension Catholic (11-2) at Ouachita Christian (11-1)

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.