Tigers and Bulldogs make playoff field

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief
Under first-year head coach Brian Richardson, Donaldsonville reached the playoffs as a No. 32 seed. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Last year, both Donaldsonville and Ascension Catholic missed out on the playoffs. Both programs made sure that wouldn’t happen again in 2016.

Ascension Catholic earned the highest seed in the parish as they head into the Division IV playoffs at No. 6.

The Bulldogs had a tremendous regular season as they bounced back from a 4-6 campaign in Drey Trosclair’s first year as head coach.

Ascension Catholic finished the 2016 regular season with a 6-4 record and a 4-2 finish in District 6-1A.

The Bulldogs faced one of the toughest schedules of any parish team. Seven of their opponents this season made the playoffs.

Also, the four teams they lost to had a combined record of 33-6.

Their first loss came to a 9-1 Dunham team out of Class 2A. Their second loss was to 8-1 Southern Lab—the district champs and defending Division IV champion.

Their third loss came to Kentwood—the No. 3 seed in 1A. Their defeat in the regular season finale came to Kaplan, a team that went 10-0 and earned the No. 3 seed in the Class 3A playoffs.

The Bulldogs will host No. 11 St. Edmund on Friday night. This will be the first time they’ve hosted a playoff game since 2014.

St. Edmund enters the game with a 4-6 record.

The two teams have played one common opponent in Catholic of Pointe Coupee. St. Edmund lost to the Hornets, 14-13, in week seven, while Ascension Catholic won their matchup, 54-20, in the season opener.

The Bulldogs will be joined in the playoffs by Donaldsonville. Under first-year head coach Brian Richardson, the Tigers made the postseason for the first time since 2014.

Like Ascension Catholic, Donaldsonville had to navigate through a treacherous schedule in 2016.

Just last Friday night, they had to play a tough University Lab squad in the regular season finale.

They played hard in the first half, only allowing the Cubs to take a 14-0 lead.

However, in the third quarter, University was able to take control as quarterback Alex Popov hit Mike Hollins for a 65-yard score, and then he hit Grant Bonnette for a 19-yard touchdown.

The flurry helped the Cubs roll to a 35-8 victory.

The Tigers’ lone score came when Jaylin Williams connected with Ladarius Jackson for a 14-yard score.

In Donaldsonville’s 4-6 finish, they had to play eight playoff teams. All six of their losses came against postseason squads.

The Tigers were able to secure the No. 32 seed. In the first round, they’ll have to go on the road to play a familiar opponent in top-seeded West Feliciana.

This undefeated Saints team is a district foe. They beat the Tigers, 42-8, when they met back on Sept. 30.

The good news for Donaldsonville is that many of their starters were missing for that game. They were without Williams at quarterback, starting running back Jemon Pleasant and starting linebacker Jontrelle Simms.