Williams' hat trick burns Bulldogs in district opener
You have to be sound in the kicking game.
Last Thursday night against second-ranked Southern Lab, Ascension Catholic wasn't, and it cost them.
The Bulldog defense played exceptionally well, but their punt team gave up three return touchdowns. All three scores came courtesy of electric athlete Curtlan Williams.
The special teams scores and another touchdown set up by a Bulldog turnover helped Southern Lab roll to a 46-7 victory, but first-year Ascension Catholic head coach Drey Trosclair was still pleased with his team's effort.
"I'm proud of the way we fought. I thought we played hard," Trosclair said. "We never quit. We just didn't play a clean game."
The errors surfaced early in the contest for the Bulldogs.
After the defense forced a big turnover on downs at their own 6-yard line, Ascension Catholic fumbled the ball away--giving the Kittens possession just three yards away from the end zone.
Quarterback Bladrick Veal then scored from one yard out on a sneak to give Southern Lab the 7-0 lead.
Williams then scored on back-to-back punts--juking and shaking numerous Bulldog defenders for 57 and 64-yard scores.
The special teams dominance gave the Kittens a commanding 20-0 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Southern Lab ended the half with their only sustained drive of the game as they drove 59 yards in 11 plays. Darbbeon Profit Jr. converted a fourth and goal by taking it in from six yards out to give the Kittens a 26-0 halftime lead.
Southern Lab added three more scores in the third.
On only their second play of the second half, Profit exploded for a 49-yard score.
Williams then returned another punt for a touchdown--this one from 89 yards, and Veal hooked up with Trey James III in the back of the end zone for a 38-yard score.
Though they faced an insurmountable 46-0 deficit, Ascension Catholic never stopped fighting.
They finally got on the board in the fourth quarter when Kaleb Winchester scored from 17 yards out after getting an option pitch from quarterback DC Mattingly.
The Bulldog offense was totally overwhelmed by the big and fast Kitten defense.
They were held to just 101 total yards.
Mattingly was held to just 1-15 passing for 10 yards and was picked off once. He ran the ball 12 times for just 27 yards.
Winchester was Ascension Catholic's only viable weapon as he carried the ball 11 times for 66 yards and a score.
"They did a good job of stopping us tonight," Trosclair said. "I don't think we executed our gameplan to the best of our ability, but some of those guys were really good players. You just tip your hat to those guys for being a really good football team."
The Bulldog defense played well. They held Southern Lab to just 286 total yards.
"It's the fourth week in a row we gave up special teams touchdowns. I can't say enough about our defense. They played well," Trosclair said. "They gave up seven points in the first half. I don't count that first score on defense; we gave them the ball at the 3-yard line. That's a good football team. Give credit to those guys over there."
Ascension Catholic has now dropped three straight games after beating Catholic of Pointe Coupee in their season opener. In those three defeats, they have been outscored by a combined margin of 156-67.
Despite the tough stretch, Trosclair said that he still thinks his team is in a good place mentally.
"Our guys' confidence is still sky-high. We're 1-3 right now; we don't plan on being 1-3 for very long," Trosclair said. "We want to put some wins together in this next stretch of the schedule, and we're confident we'll be able to do that."
The Bulldogs will be on the road this Friday night as they search for their first district win against 2-2 White Castle.
Ascension Catholic's upcoming game against St. John has been moved from Friday, Oct. 23, to Thursday, Oct. 22.
At the game, the 1995 state champion softball team will be honored. Head coach Don Henry plans to attend.