Catholic High had nearly twice as many offensive yards as top-ranked Acadiana. But if you believe defense wins championships, the Bears did exactly what they needed to do.
A fourth-down stop at the Catholic 11, along with Jordan Toaston’s sack and a fumble recovery deep in Acadiana territory helped third-ranked Catholic notch a 20-0 victory over Acadiana on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
“It was team defense … it took all of us,” Toaston said. “Wes Woodward and Josh Johnson held it down in the middle and we made plays.”
Toaston’s fumble recovery led to Corey Singleton’s second touchdown run of a night, which staked the Bears a 17-0 lead with 9:42 remaining in the nondistrict game.
Singleton ran for 81 yards on 16 carries and powered a 10-play 80-yard drive after the opening kickoff that gave Catholic (2-0) a 7-0 lead. Tre Benson caught seven passes for 92 yards.
“We knew what we were facing,” Benson said. “And we knew it was important to come out and punch them in the mouth first.”
Acadiana (1-1) managed just two first downs in the opening half and turned the ball over four times. The game also featured a 72-yard punt by the Bears’ Kylan Dupre, the second longest in school history. Landon Carter booted two field goals and Woodward had 10 tackles for the winners.
Kevan Williams led Acadiana with 62 yards on 16 carries. The biggest negative for the Bears was 128 penalty yards.
“Team defense … it’s hard to say anybody stood out because everybody played their butts off,” Catholic coach David Simoneaux Jr. said. “I am proud of whole defensive effort. We had a big stop on both ends of the field.”
Catholic took a page from Acadiana’s playbook to open the game. The Bears drove 80 yards in 10 plays. Just two of the eight plays were passes.
Singleton, who rushed for 200 yards in Catholic’s season opener, got the final three carries. He scored on a 16-yard run, giving the Bears a 7-0 lead with 6:31 left in the first quarter.
Acadiana struggled on offense. The Wreckin’ Rams only crossed the 50-yard line once, thanks to a muffed punt by Catholic. Jack Massey’s fumble recovery set up Carter’s 29-yard field goal that gave Catholic a 10-0 halftime lead.
The Wreckin’ Rams opened the second half with 17-play, 72-yard drive. On fourth-and-1 at the CHS 11, Woodward, Johnson and middle of the line kept Williams from gaining a first down that could have shifted momentum.
Toaston sacked AHS QB Ayden Trahan and then recovered a fumble on the next Wreckin’ Ram possession to keep Catholic in control. Trahan had some near misses on pass attempts that offer a glimpse of the future.
“We got a sophomore quarterback who is going to get better every week,” AHS coach Matt McCullough said. “Later in the year, hopefully we make those plays.”