DONALDSONVILLE — Ascension Catholic wanted to make a statement in its showdown with Episcopal.
But it was the seventh-ranked Knights of Class 2A who dictated to the 1A Bulldogs en route to a 19-0 victory Friday night at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium. Episcopal (4-0) put together the solid combination of offense and suffocating defense while handing ACHS (4-1) its first loss.
“We misfired … that’s it,” Ascension Catholic coach Doug Moreau said. “We gave them the ball constantly with a short field. And we can’t do that.”
A strong performance by running back T.J. Wisham has become the norm for the Knights, and the senior did not disappoint, rushing for a game-high 101 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown.
Episcopal finished with 247 yards on offense, more than three times the total Ascension Catholic managed with its option offense. William D’Armond completed 12 of 23 passes for 113 yards.
The game was a homecoming for Episcopal coach Travis Bourgeois, who played quarterback for the Bulldogs in the late 1980s.
“We had to bring our ‘A’ game because they are going to win some ball games and coach Moreau’s staff does a good job,” Bourgeois said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our defense, but we have a long way to go on offense. It’s a work in progress.”
It’s easy to understand why Bourgeois praised defense. The Knights limited the Bulldogs to 79 total yards. ACHS rushed for only 48 yards. Receiver Cleveland FeFie turned in the top individual performance, catching all three of quarterback D.C. Mattingly’s completions for 31 yards.
Episcopal’s Evan Lawson recovered two fumbles, returning them for a total of 35 yards. He also had four tackles for loss. Kydris Washington added three sacks for a total of 14 yards in losses for the winners, who host East Feliciana for pivotal District 6-2A game next week.
Bourgeois praised defensive coordinator Jimmy Williams and the rest of the defensive staff for their work.
“Anytime you play a discipline offense like Ascension has with the option, it first of all starts with your defense,” Bourgeois said. “You have to be fundamentally sound and make sure everything is taken care of.
“I thought our guys did a great job and coach (Jimmy) Williams did a great job with the game plan. We took away the fullback (James Martin). He hurt us last year. We took him away and made the quarterback pitch the ball. That was our game plan and it made him put the ball on the ground a few times.”
The Knights scored touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters and also scored via a safety.
Afterward, Moreau looked to next week when the Bulldogs face St. John to open District 8-1A play.
“We have to see if they’ll regroup after this adversity,” Moreau said. “We’ll see what they’re made of. We have the whole district lineup against us and we just have to see how it goes.”