Bulldogs earn first playoff victory since 2013

Kyle Riviere
Dillion Davis (No. 56) and the Ascension Catholic defense held St. Edmund to just 66 second-half yards. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

After missing the playoffs last season, Ascension Catholic came out Friday night hungry for some postseason success.

They feasted on 11th-seeded St. Edmund in their home matchup--exploding for 21 first-quarter points in a 35-7 Bulldog victory.

It was Ascension Catholic's first playoff win in three years and their first under head coach Drey Trosclair.

"Overall, I'm proud of these guys. It's our first playoff win since I've been here," Trosclair said. "It's our seniors' first playoff win since they were freshmen. This is a big game for us."

The sixth-seeded Bulldogs came into the contest fresh off of two straight losses, but there was no hangover early.

Three long touchdown runs by Jamar Barber allowed them to jump on top of the Blue Jays, 21-0, after the first 12 minutes. Those runs came from 38, 52 and 90 yards.

"I was really excited with the way we came out. We came out hot and scored 21 points in that first quarter," Trosclair said. "I wish we could have continued that dominance for the remainder of the game. I think we were a little flat once we had the game in hand, and that's something we're going to have to work on at practice to make sure it doesn't happen again."

St. Edmund's best defense was their offense in the second quarter. Their long, monotonous drives kept the Bulldog offense off of the field. They were limited to just five offensive plays in the entire period.

The Blue Jays cut the lead to 21-7 after driving 75 yards in 11 plays. Luke Doucette finished it off with a three-yard touchdown run.

However, the Ascension Catholic special teams provided a speedy response. Barber ran through almost the entire St. Edmund kick coverage team on his way to a scintillating 84-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 27-7 halftime advantage.

To start the second half, the Bulldogs put the hammer down as they drove 78 yards in six plays.

On fourth and three, Javon Yarbrough hit Barber on a pass out of the backfield. Barber shook multiple tackles and raced down the sideline for a sensational 29-yard touchdown.

After a successful 2-point try, Ascension Catholic was able to hold on to a 35-7 victory.

Barber had a spectacular game—accounting for five total touchdowns.

He rushed for 212 yards and three scores and added a kickoff return for a touchdown and a receiving score.

Yarbrough didn't complete a single pass in the first half, but he got into a rhythm in the second as he went 7-12 for 97 yards and a score.

St. Edmund was able to chew up 140 yards in the first half, but they were totally stymied by the Bulldog defense in the final 30 minutes. They were shut out and limited to a grand total of 66 yards.

"We made a couple of adjustments at halftime, nothing major. We moved a couple of guys around, and I think that's what was effective for us," Trosclair said. "They moved the ball on us a good bit in the first half, but they weren't able to manufacture many points. I thought the defense played a tremendous game."

Coach Trosclair said that the win was huge for the program.

"We doubled our win total from last year," Trosclair said. "Last year, we went 3-7 and missed out on the playoffs, and we didn't like the way that felt. We attacked this season making sure we didn't have that feeling again. We went 6-4 in the best district in 1A football. This is a great win for us, and we're just going to keep on building. The sky is the limit."

In Ascension Catholic's second-round matchup, they'll have to go on the road to face a district foe and the defending champions of Division IV in Southern Lab. The third-seeded Kittens beat the Bulldogs, 50-0, when the two teams met earlier this season.