Unlike professional football, high school preseason takes place in one weekend at the jamborees. The opening act for the Ascension Parish teams was the contest between the Dutchtown Griffins and the Wildcats of Walker.
It didn’t take the Griffins long to make a statement as coach Benny Saia’s offense scored on its first three possessions with a punt return by Eric Washington for a score sandwiched in between. A 26-0 first-half scoring barrage led to a 33-0 final tally.
The Griffins defense turned in a stellar performance that held the Wildcats to minus-6 yards on 10 plays in the first half and nearly blocked a punt from the Walker end zone. This type of performance might well propel the Griffins in their season opener at home in a contest against the Lutcher Bulldogs.
In another Thursday night game, the Donaldsonville Tigers offense was stymied by a tough defense from the St. James Wildcats in a 20-13 loss. The stingy crew worked the offense for three turnovers. Two were interceptions and one was a fumble. The Wildcats defense held the Tigers to 173 yards of total offense and kept the pressure on Donaldsonville quarterback Tyler Brown.
The Tigers have a few things to work on for their season opener Friday night. Coach Benny Gilbeaux’s squad will take on the East St. John Wildcats in what will be an early test of the Tigers as their regular season opener is ranked 20th in the state.
Gators take on Spartans
The St. Amant Gators and the Spartans of East Ascension fought to a 21-14 battle with the Gators scoring the winning touchdown with only seconds on the clock. A 2-yard pass from Tyler Dixon to Marquise Hampton took the air out of the Spartans’ comeback as they tied the game on the previous series with 51 seconds left in the game.
Coach Paul Bourgeois’ team couldn’t capitalize on three opportunities in the first half. The 80-yard opening drive for the Spartans ended with a fumble into the end zone from the Gator 1-yard line for a touchback. A goal-line stand by the Gator defense ended at their 1 again, and an interception by the Spartans did not result in a score. This was one hard-fought game between parish rivals that kept the fans on the edges of their seats.
St. Amant takes on the No. 2 team in the state, the Eagles of Warren Easton High, on Friday night in New Orleans. This game will be a big test for the Gators as they are ranked 43rd in the state in the preseason polls.
The Spartans will take to the road to play the Plaquemine High Green Devils.
Ascension Catholic comes out strong
Ascension Catholic High School pretty handily took care of Houma Christian in jamboree action with a score of 28-6 at Floyd Boutte Stadium. The Bulldogs capitalized on a stingy defense and a hot offense to rack up the win.
One of the standout players of the game played on both sides of the ball. Delmond Landry led the defensive effort in addition to catching a 28-yard touchdown pass thrown by quarterback D.C. Mattingly from the tight end position.
The offense was well-balanced as Patrick Butler added two running touchdowns and Kaleb Winchester added the final score on the ground as well.
One of coach Doug Moreau’s concerns was how the defense would play this season. They held Houma Christian scoreless until very late in the game and had one takeaway with an interception by Joe Landry.
This performance could be just what the Bulldogs need leading into next week’s season opener against Catholic of Pointe Coupee at 7 p.m. Friday. The Hornets and the Bulldogs are evenly matched according to the state preseason rankings.
Lions face two teams
The Ascension Christian High Lions played two games in their jamboree at Ecole Classique and won them both. In their first game against Ridgewood High, the Lions pulled this one out with a heart-stopping, game-winning 36-yard field goal by Ian Carter with three seconds on the clock.
In game two, the Lions took it to the host team, Ecole Classique, topping the Spartans 9-0. David Smith returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown and the extra point was missed. Ian Carter padded the lead with another field goal.
The Lions of Ascension Christian High will host the Lafayette Christian Academy Knights in an evenly matched game at 7 p.m. Friday.
Ducks Unlimited banquet
The East Ascension Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its banquet at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center Trademart building. Don’s Seafood is providing the meal, and the program includes auctions and raffles.
Ticket information can be found by calling (225) 266-2909 or emailing EastAscensionDU@gmail.com.
CCA coming to Lamar-Dixon
The Ascension Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association will hold its banquet on Sept. 18 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center Trademart building. Things kick off at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and a meal followed by auctions. For tickets, visit ccalouisiana.com or email Nolan Reynerson at Nolan@ccalouisiana.com.
Delta Waterfowl banquet
The Ascension Parish Chapter of Delta Waterfowl invites area residents to its annual banquet at the Ascension Civic Center on Oct. 9. The event starts with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7:15 p.m., followed by auctions at 8 p.m. Contact Rickey Johnson at (225) 937-3875.
Editor’s note: The Ascension Christian High portion of this story was changed on Sept. 4.