On Thursday, four schools met at Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge in the annual Battle on the Ridge Jamboree. At 6 PM, the Catholic – Pointe Coupee Hornets faced off against the Episcopal Knights, and later on in the night, the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs took on the St Michael Warriors.
Episcopal started off slow in the first half, not being able to stop Catholic -Pointe Coupee’s offense while failing to put together a scoring drive of their own. Down 14-0 at halftime, Episcopal completely flipped the script, coming out of the break and scoring 15 unanswered points, leading to a slim 15-14 victory. Longtime Head Coach Travis Bourgeois decided to go with a gutsy call to go for 2, and the lead, after the Knight’s second and final touchdown. The decision paid off, and the Knight’s defense forced an interception shortly thereafter to seal the win.
Two key performers in the Knight’s win were running backs Braeden George and Reid Chauvin. George put 68 yards on 12 carries, and scored the game-winning two-point conversion, and Chauvin added 7 carries for 51 yards and both touchdowns the Knights scored, also adding a 19 yard catch to his statline. On defense, key contributors included Neff Neumann, who snagged the game-clinching interception, and Will York, who played both ways and contributed with several tackles on defense, and some key blocks for George and Chauvin while playing on the offensive line.
For the Hornets, some notable players included Hayden Elliott, who seemed to be all over the field. He lined up as a defensive back and made several impactful tackles, he kicked off, punted, and converted both of his extra point tries. He most notably lined up under center for the Hornets, completing 4 of 7 passes for 62 yards, including a 38-yard Hail Mary attempt as time expired in the first half. Two of his completions were brought in by Senior Hudson Moore, who finished with 18 yards. The other two were brought in by Sophomore Jude Morrison, totaling 44 yards. Morrison switched positions mid-game as Elliott left early in the second half with an apparent injury.
Gridiron Football writer Jace Lejeune spoke to Episcopal Head Coach Travis Bourgeois following the victory. He talked about how the team started off slow and struggled with Time of Possession, but was able to overcome these issues in the second half. Coach Bourgeois also talked about how his team is adapting to a new quarterback under center, and how injuries have forced several starters to play both sides of the ball.
The second game between Ascension Christian and St. Michael started not long after the conclusion of the first game. It was a hard-fought battle, but in the end, the Bulldogs pulled away and won 18-16 behind serviceable quarterback play and a lethal rushing attack. Junior running back Chad Elzy was able to find open space often, totaling 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 9 carries. Junior Demarcus Gant only touched the ball three times, but was able to gain 37 yards on those touches, including a 20 yard run that put the Bulldogs in the red-zone and set up the eventual game-winning touchdown. Ascension Catholic’s quarterback, Jake Landry, was able to complete 6-9 passes for 68 yards in the win.
For St. Michael, quarterback Preston Sentino put together two scoring drives. He ran for only 12 yards on 7 carries, but was sacked twice, hurting his statline. Sentino also scored a rushing touchdown, as did Junior running back John Martinez, who was able to total 97 yards on 11 carries.
Ascension Catholic’s Head Coach Chris Sanders, was also interviewed by Jace Lejeune. Coach Sanders spoke about how his team started off slow after the initial 80-yard touchdown run from Chad Elzy. He was proud of his team for “hanging in there” and not backing down after giving up 16 unanswered to end the first half. Coach Sanders also spoke on the importance of having an explosive player like Elzy, and having many versatile players on the roster. Coach Sanders also emphasized the importance of finding a replacement for a four-year starter at quarterback, and doing everything possible to ensure success in the passing game this year.
In the end, it was a day dominated by running backs, and the weather too as several players went down with cramping issues in the near 100° heat.
Watch Full Episcopal vs. Catholic Pointe Coupee Game: https://www.varsitysportsnow.com/videos/football-jamboree-catholic-high-pointe-coupee-vs-episcopal
Watch Full St. Michael vs. Ascension Catholic Game:
Next Friday, September 1st, St. Michael travels back to Episcopal to open the season, while Ascension Catholic travels to Edgard to take on the West St. John Rams. On Thursday night, Catholic of Point Coupee travels to play Bunkie.