Bulldogs bounce back with big district win

Kyle Riviere
Ascension Catholic QB Javon Yarbrough scrambles away from pressure in the Bulldogs' win over White Castle. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Last Thursday night, sixth-ranked Ascension Catholic had to sit around for nearly two hours waiting for the referees to show up. Once the game started, the waiting was over.

On just the second play of the game, Javon Yarbrough came through with a huge interception that set up an early Bulldog touchdown. It proved to be the biggest play in a game Ascension Catholic came from behind to win, 16-14, against White Castle.

After last week’s 50-0 drubbing endured against second-ranked Southern Lab in the district opener, it was just the kind of response head coach Drey Trosclair was hoping he’d see.

“It says a lot about the character of our football team and the program we have here. It’s a testament to these kids and how hard they go to work every day,” Trosclair said. “They come to the film room and the weight room. It doesn’t matter where they are, they come together as a group. It’s a group of kids that loves one another. They love their teammates, they love their coaches and they love their school. It’s a great team win. I’m so proud of how they responded after last week.”

Both teams were ready to play early on, but the refs weren’t.

In a classic case of miscommunication, they were missing in action once the game started. They thought the game was on Friday.

By the time they arrived to Floyd Boutte Stadium, it was nearly two hours past the scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff.

The delay didn’t affect Ascension Catholic.

On White Castle’s second offensive play, quarterback Jeremie Richard’s pass was picked off by Yarbrough, and he returned it to the White Castle 6-yard line.

Two plays later, Jamar Barber scored from three yards out on an option pitch.

The ensuing 2-point try was good to give Ascension Catholic the early 8-0 lead.

“Javon made a great play,” Trosclair said. “He read the pass route, he was able to undercut it and he got us in great scoring position. We were able to punch it in. That’s something that you really like early, to get a quick score to start the game off.”

However, White Castle had the perfect response. They scored touchdowns on two of their next three possessions.

First, they marched 61 yards in eight plays, and Richard hit Javier Batiste from five yards out. They converted the 2-point try to tie the game.

Two possessions later, they took a 14-8 advantage after driving 40 yards in eight plays. Batiste scored on a four-yard run.

Ascension Catholic started the second half trailing by 6 and only having one first down.

The offensive woes quickly vanished on their second play as Yarbrough hit Kebori Hunter on a slant, and he raced past multiple White Castle defenders on his way to a 78-yard score.

The Bulldogs converted the 2-point try to take a 16-14 lead.

“To come out in the second half, that was a huge play by Kebori and a great throw by Javon to sit in there and take a big hit afterward,” Trosclair said. “Kebori ran the length of the field and outran three or four defenders. That was just a phenomenal football play by him. He’s a great player.”

With the lead, Ascension Catholic’s offense didn’t do much, but they didn’t have to. Their defense blanked White Castle, forcing them to turn the ball over on downs twice down the stretch.

It culminated in a 16-14 victory where Ascension Catholic only gave up 213 total yards.

“The defense is the reason we won the game tonight. The defense played their tails off,” Trosclair said. “Our defensive coordinator Chris Schexnaydre had a great game plan, and the way that the guys played—flowing to the ball and pursing—it was a phenomenal effort by our guys. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Ascension Catholic only had 151 total yards.

Yarbrough only completed five of 19 passes for 118 yards, but his 78-yard touchdown strike to Hunter proved to be the game winner.

The victory improved the Bulldogs’ overall record to 3-2 and evened up their district mark to 1-1.

This Friday night, they’ll be on the road to face parish foe Ascension Christian.