Ascension Catholic used a stingy defense to win its district opener 43-22 over White Castle on the road.
White Castle played on its brand new turf for the first time, the visiting Bulldogs played tough defense and made some timely offensive plays to go to 3-1 on the season.
Junior quarterback Bryce Leonard tossed two touchdowns, including a back breaking 49-yard score to Calvin Delone as the clock hit zero. The score pushed the lead to 29-6 for Ascension Catholic.
White Castle (0-4) was led by running back Jacob Green and his two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
How it was won
Ascension Catholic scored on its first possession. Leonard found his brother, Brooks, on a 43-yard crossing route to set up the Bulldogs at the 2-yard line. Texas commit J’Mond Tapp came in at quarterback and scored the rushing touchdown for 7-0 lead.
White Castle got on the board when defensive back Derrick Tate intercepted Leonard and returned it for a 48-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 7-6.
Ascension Catholic's defense dominated the rest of the way, including a 76-yard interception return by Khai Prean and a safety right before the half.
The brothers Leonard connected on another score in the second quarter, with Bryce throwing an 8-yard pass to Brooks.
The third quarter belonged to Ascension Catholic after short touchdown runs by Tapp and fullback Adrian Prean. The Lions led 43-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
Player of the game
Bryce Leonard: He used his scrambling ability and his arm for two touchdown passes. He finished with 185 yards in the air. Facing constant pressure from various blitzes by White Castle, Leonard stayed poised, found receivers and avoided sacks. The third-year starter showed maturity and made good decisions.
They said it
Ascension Catholic coach Chris Schexnayder: “Our defense made some big plays to get off the field on third down, plus a pick-six and a safety. We have a lot to clean up, but we came in here to face an athletic team on their field. We had respect for those guys. Happy to get the win."
Bryce Leonard: “The O-line was under constant pressure tonight. They did what we saw on film, we just need to clean up a few things. Excited to get the ball to playmakers like Brooks (Leonard), C.J. (Delone), Khai (Prean) and Landon (Szubinski), we have some weapons, our defense played well tonight; good team win."
- Szubinski led Ascension Catholic with 12 tackles.
- The Bulldog defensive line of Tapp, Tre’ Williams and Jacque Husers made several tackles for losses on the night.
- The Lions forced White Castle to punt 9 times.