The undefeated Ascension Catholic Bulldogs led by first year head coach Chris Sanders went into Baton Rouge to take on the 2-1 Dunham Tigers led by head coach Neil Weiner in what was a heavy matchup between two great programs.
Dunham would answer right back with a long touchdown drive of their own marching 81 yards on 11 plays. The Tigers’ Mason Wild would cap off the drive for the Tigers and tie the game at seven a piece.
On the ensuing Bulldogs drive, Dunham defensive back Bronson Bonneval intercepts Leonard in the end zone to give the Tigers the football back.
Dunham quarterback Jackson House, who is the son of LSU defensive coordinator Matt House, showed why he is committed to Eastern Kentucky by throwing a deep 64 yard touchdown pass to Jac Comeaux. The Tigers would get their third interception of the first half when Sione Albert had his second interception of the first 15 minutes, but the Bulldogs held as the first half would run out. The Tigers would take their first lead of the football game to halftime at 14-7.
On the first drive of the second half, Jackson House had a big run to put his team in position inside the five yard line. A play later, Colin Boldt would rush it in for the touchdown extending the Tigers’ lead at 20-7.
Late in the third quarter, Ascension Catholic gets a turnover themselves after Landon Szubinski intercepts House and gives the Bulldogs great field position to get back in the football game. The Bulldogs capitalize as the Leonard brother connect on a touchdown pass with Bryce hits his twin Brooks with a diving 22 yard touchdown catch to cut the Tigers lead to seven at 20-13.
The Bulldogs would get the ball back again, but as Bryce Leonard and company were driving down field, Colin Boldt would intercept Leonard again. This was the fourth interception forced by the Tigers defense. It would remain a defensive battle throughout the fourth quarter, but Ascension Catholic gets a gift late in the game when a snap goes way over the Dunham punter’s head and gives the Bulldogs exceptional field position inside the 15 yard line with under two minutes left in the game.
Two plays later, Bryce Leonard shows his patience, lets the play develop, and runs it in for the score in order to make it a 20-19 game. After the three yard touchdown run by Bryce, the Bulldogs decide to go for two in order to try and take the lead with a minute and 18 seconds left to play.
For the late lead and perhaps the win, the Bulldogs run the statue of liberty play made famous by Boise State, but for the Bulldogs, the attempt proved to be unsuccessful as the Dunham Tigers defense was all over Landon Szubinski, who had the ball in his hands. The Tigers would recover the onside kick and would run out the rest of the clock giving them the 20-19 victory.
The Tigers improve to 3-1 on the season thanks the the play of quarterback Jackson House, who accounted for close to 300 yards of offense and the Tigers’ defense, which had been sensational all night forcing four turnovers and getting the big two point conversion attempt stop at the end.
“What a great play call at the end with the old Statue of Liberty play. They had about half the defense on that side fooled for sure, but luckily, we had some guys that stayed at home. That was a big stop. Our offense really put our defense in a bind at times. We had the bad snap on the punt, but our defense kept answering every time the bell rang. We had four interceptions and forced some fumbles even though I believe we didn’t recover any. The play of our defense made a big difference.”Dunham Head Coach Neil Weiner on the 20-19 victory over Ascension Catholic
Next up, the Tigers take on the Southern Lab Kittens next Thursday, and for Ascension Catholic, the Bulldogs lose their first game of the season and fall to 3-1. Next week, the Bulldogs will take on the Episcopal Knights next Friday.