DONALDSONVILLE — With its football program still young, Madison Prep entered the 2014 season dreaming of just winning a lone district game. The Chargers crossed that off their list earlier this year and on Friday night, they captured their first postseason victory with a 38-16 win on the road over Ascension Catholic in the first round of the Division IV playoffs.
“This team has made a lot of strides and we made history tonight,” Madison Prep coach Michael Roach said. “Hopefully, it’s one of many more to come.”
Roach and the Chargers will have a tough act to follow with a quarterfinal matchup against top-ranked Vermillion Catholic next week.
It could have been an even easier victory for Madison Prep, but four of its 16 penalties brought back touchdowns.
“We just have to play disciplined,” said Chargers linebacker Malcolm Roach, Michael’s son, who finished with a game-high 18 tackles. “We need to continue to focus in practice everyday and we’ll be successful.”
Sophomore running back Quincy Banks ran in two touchdowns as part of his game-high 161-yard rushing performance in a game where the Chargers as a whole ran for 257 yards against an Ascension Catholic defense that usually controls the line of scrimmage.
“I said before the season that Quincy is the best kept secret in Louisiana,” Roach said of Banks. “With him in our backfield, we are a dangerous ballclub.”
Starting with the game’s first play from scrimmage, Banks and Madison Prep flexed its muscle.
Taking a pitch to the right side, Banks evaded a few tackles and then sprinted down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown run. A run by Malcolm Roach for the conversion gave the Chargers an early 8-0 lead.
It was at that point that eighth-seed Ascension Catholic knew they were in for a dogfight.
“They outhit us and controlled the line of scrimmage,” said Ascension Catholic Coach Doug Moreau. “That has never happened to us before, even in our previous two losses.”
After a bad punt gave them a short field, the Bulldogs rushing attack went to work on their second possession of the game. Zyshawn Richard capped off the nine-play drive with a 10-yard run to make it 8-6 at the 4:50 mark in the first quarter.
Still trailing in the second quarter, the Bulldogs tried a bit of trickery with running back Kaleb Winchester taking a pitch then dropping back to pass. However, it was read by Madison Prep freshman Tyrese Walker and he intercepted the errant pass.
On the next play, Edwin Kleinpeter found Jaylen Brown streaking down the left sideline for a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Following a four-yard touchdown run by Ascension Catholic’s James Martin that pulled the Bulldogs within two points, Kleinpeter and Brown connected again, this time for 34 yards, to put the Chargers nine yards away from the end zone.
“We practice those plays a lot,” Kleinpeter said of throwing to Brown. “I wanted to make sure to get him going because he is just so talented.”
Two plays later, Kleinpeter snuck the ball in from a yard out. Another two-point conversion run by Roach gave Madison Prep a 22-12 lead at the half.
After the two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, Madison Prep’s Tejuan Spurlock sealed Ascension Catholic’s fate in the third quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run at the 8:47 mark the fourth quarter.
Martin led the Bulldogs with two touchdowns on 101 rushing yards.
“He really left his guts on the field,” Moreau said of Martin. “His legs were hurting him but he still gave it his all.”