Cutting teeth

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com
White Castle's Robert Franklin rushes for a 28-yard gain ahead of the blocking of Brian Jenkins and Curtis Jones in the first quarter of the Bulldogs' 44-14 District 9-1A victory over Ascension Catholic on Friday night. Franklin had 80 yards receiving and rushed for one touchdown. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

WHITE CASTLE – White Castle amassed over 480 yards of total offense, forced three turnovers and scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions on the way to a 44-14 District 9-1A victory over Ascension Catholic of Donaldsonville on Friday night at Milton "Rocky" Ourso Jr. Memorial Stadium to claim district runner-up.

The Bulldogs (8-2, 4-1) outgained Ascension Catholic 487-348 in total yardage with 396 of it coming on the ground to win their second straight. White Castle also won the turnover battle 3-0 and registered four sacks and tackles for loss each despite the Bulldogs (7-3, 3-2) running 12 more total plays with 60.

White Castle wrapped up second-place in district standings with their only loss coming to No. 5 ranked West St. John and advance to the LHSAA Class 1A playoffs as the No. 11 seed where they will host No. 22 Archbishop Hannan on Friday night at 7 p.m. Ascension Catholic garnered the No. 23 seed and will travel to 10th seeded Westminster Christian.

"I want to congratulate you on the season nobody thought we would have," White Castle coach Lamar Thomas told his team. "We have fought through a lot of adversity and are better because of it."

"All night, they tried to keep us from getting outside but I didn't really worry that much about it because they gave us what we needed inside. Our tackles did a good job of getting up to the linebackers and our guards did a good job of kicking people out. We like to run the ball period whether it is inside or outside and we are going to take what the defense gives us."

Tyrie Lang led the attack with 121 yards rushing and one touchdown on 12 attempts. He also had a receiving touchdown, sack and tackle for loss.

Daryl Young had two interceptions on defense, added 109 yards rushing and one touchdown on 11 attempts and scored a receiving touchdown.

Bulldog quarterback Chris Major completed 5-of-7 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Robert Franklin had three receptions for 80 yards to go with 36 yards rushing and one touchdown on three attempts.

Dajour Chaney provided one touchdown and 45 yards rushing on 11 carries to go with a tackle for loss and Daniel Edwards scored on an 80-yard run.

Harold Zachary had a fumble recovery and sack and Andre Prevost had two sacks and one tackle for loss. Byron Pierre also had a tackle for loss.

Ascension Catholic quarterback D.J. Latino completed 12-of-19 passes to eight different receivers for 126 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted twice. Latino added 30 yards rushing as White Castle limited the Bulldogs' option attack.

Jacquel Wade scored both touchdowns rushing and receiving while providing 131 yards on the ground on 13 attempts. Wade Bailey added 42 yards rushing on three carries.

"I cut my teeth on the option coming up through the ranks so I know the ends and outs of it," Thomas said. "We have two pretty good defensive tackles and I made some adjustments up front so that they would have an impact. We wanted to take away the quarterback and pitch and make the fullback have to beat us."

Franklin's 7-yard reverse into the end zone capped the game's opening 8-play, 76-yard drive after a 31-yard jaunt by Young into Ascension Catholic territory. Major ran in the conversion to make it 8-0 with 8:05 left in the first quarter.

Young intercepted Latino at the 1-yard line on the Bulldogs' first possession after Ascension Catholic drove to the White Castle 12 following Lang's sack.

Lang's 4-yard misdirection touchdown run inside finished off the ensuing 9-play, 99-yard drive with 29.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter after Franklin's 37-yard reception over a defender and 28-yard reverse.

Zachary recovered a fumbled pitch on the next possession and two plays later Major connected with Young on an 8-yard score after a 32-yard completion to Franklin. Young ran in the conversion to increase White Castle's lead to 22-0 two minutes later.

Wade cut up field for a 38-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession to put Ascension Catholic on the board with 7:18 left in the first half after Prevost's tackle for a loss. Bailey's 24-yard run pushed the Bulldogs across midfield.

White Castle drove into the red zone on the next series courtesy Lang's 35-yard run but came up empty. Ascension Catholic then mounted a 13-play drive into the red zone but also failed to score as the half expired following Prevost's 8-yard sack. Latino completed passes to five different receivers on the possession.

Chaney's 3-yard touchdown run capped White Castle's opening possession of the second half and Young took an inside handoff in for the conversion to make it 30-6 with 8:29 left in the third quarter after Lang's 21-yard run pushed the Bulldogs into the red zone.

Young intercepted Latino on the next play at midfield but White Castle couldn't capitalize despite Lang's 25-yard burst. Major rolled right and connected with Lang for a 3-yard touchdown to cap the Bulldogs' next 11-play, 69-yard drive following Young's 35-yard scamper across midfield to make it 36-6 with 11:53 left to play.

Edwards' broke free on an 81-yard touchdown run on White Castle's next possession and ran in the conversion to make it 44-6 with four minutes remaining after the defense held Ascension Catholic on fourth down inside the red zone.

Latino connected with Wade on a 15-yard screen pass for a touchdown and ran in the conversion to reflect the final tally with 31.6 seconds remaining.