Ascension Catholic remains undefeated with victory over Ascension Christian

The Ascension Catholic Bulldogs' quest for an undefeated season and a district championship is rolling on after a 41-7 victory over Ascension Christian. The Bulldogs have not won a district championship since 1994, and only one team in Bulldog history has gone undefeated: the 1968 team under coach Bucky Mistretta, which went 9-0.

The Bulldogs improved to 8-0 under first-year head coach Benny Saia. Ascension Catholic faced an Ascension Christian team with one of the leading passers in the area, Zack Diez, who came into the game with 1,800 yards passing and 18 touchdowns. Diez alternated at quarterback as the Lions went to more of wildcat formation with wide-out Derrick Varnado. The Bulldog defense held the Lions to -2 yards passing and 140 yards rushing.

After its defense forced a three-and-out, Ascension Catholic got on the board when freshmen Khai Prean scored on a 44-yard run, giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. Bulldog defensive back Eric Simon made the first of two interceptions in the next possession to set up the next Bulldog drive. Quarterback Bryce Leonard connected with Simon on a 13-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0. Leonard would add a 12-yard touchdown and Prean would get his second touchdown, a 18-yarder, to put the Bulldogs out front 27-0 in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs began substituting some younger players; freshmen running back Casey Mays took advantage of his time and scored two touchdowns on the night. The Lions scored in the fourth quarter on a Varnado 6-yard touchdown run. Kicker Jacob Dunn of Ascension Catholic was five-of-six on extra points.

Running back Jai Williams of Ascension Catholic rushed for 150 yards on 11 carries to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth straight season. Williams is two touchdowns shy of the school record of 99 held by his dad, Germaine “Juice” Williams (1986-89).

The leading Bulldog tacklers were Gage Breaux, with five; J’Mond Tapp, with four tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss; Nick Hilliard, with five tackles, one of which produced a loss; Dunn, with four tackles; and Brock Acosta, with four tackles.

Ascension Catholic will travel to St. John on Thursday night, and Ascension Christian (3-6) will travel to East Iberville on Friday. The Bulldogs are currently the top-ranked team in Division 4, and the Lions are 16th. The top 16 seeds make the Division 4 playoffs.

Nov. 1 football scores for Ascension Parish teams

East Ascension 40

McKinley 14

East Ascension (7-2) has a home game against St. Amant (5-4) at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

Dutchtown 39

St. Amant 31

Dutchtown (8-1) has a home game against Catholic at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

St. Amant (5-4) plays at East Ascension (7-2) at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

Donaldsonville 18

Lutcher 25

Next: Donaldsonville (6-3) has a home game against Berwick at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

Ascension Catholic 41

Ascension Christian 7

Next: Ascension Catholic (8-0) plays at St. John at 7 p.m. Nov. 7.

Ascension Christian (3-6) plays at East Iberville at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

In the unofficial power rankings for District 5A, East Ascension is fourth, Dutchtown is 13th and St. Amant is 33rd.

In the unofficial power rankings for District 3A, Donaldsonville is 11th.

In the unofficial power rankings for District 4, Ascension Catholic is first and Ascension Christian is 16th.

Volleyball playoff first-round matchups

In the first round of the volleyball playoffs in Division 1, No. 25 Hammond will play at No. 8 St. Amant; No. 29 Denham will play at No. 4 Dutchtown; and No. 26 will play at No. 7 East Ascension. 

In Division 4, No. 32 Donaldsonville will play at No. 1 Lafayette Christian. 

In Division 5, No. 25 Calvary Baptist will play at No. 8 Ascension Catholic; and No. 18 False River will play at No. 15 Ascension Christian. 

Troy LeBoeuf covers sports for the Ascension Advocate. He can be reached at troyleboeuf@hotmail.com or ascension@theadvocate.com or on Twitter @Troyleboeuf.