Eagles bounce back with homecoming win
By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
MORGAN CITY — Central Catholic overwhelmed Ascension Catholic with big plays in the Eagles 48-6 homecoming victory Friday.
Of the Eagles eight touchdowns, six covered 20 or more yards. CC’s Lloyd Grogan first scored on a 99 yard run, while quarterback Josh Singleton completed scoring passes of 56 yards to wide receiver Dontrell Brown, 20 yards to Luke Landry and 39 yards to Tyler Hoffpauir.
Brown added a 35-yard punt return for a score, while sophomore Eriq Blanchard capped the Eagles’ scoring with a 25 yard run.
The scoring barrage came a week after CCHS (4-1) suffered its first loss of the season when Northlake Christian came back to defeat the Eagles in Covington, 28-27.
“I got to give kids a lot of credit to bounce back after that,” CCHS coach David Fuhrer said. “We shouldn’t have lost that game last week, but we did. I was happy to see that they put it behind (them) and we’re moving forward.”
Back in Morgan City for its homecoming game, Central Catholic’s offense reached the end zone quickly.
After stopping Ascension Catholic (2-3) at the CCHS 1, Singleton failed to complete a long pass to Brown on first down.
However, the Eagles got things right on second down as Grogan took a handoff, zipped past the line of scrimmage through a hole on the right side of the offensive line, cut back toward the Ascension Catholic sideline and outran the ACHS defense for a 99 yard score with 8:39 left in the first quarter.
Brown’s extra point failed, but CCHS held a quick 6-0 lead.
The Eagles scored on its second possession when Singleton connected with Brown for a 56-yard strike. Brown hauled in the pass and kept his balance with one hand on the ground before spinning around and racing into the end zone.
Brown’s extra point failed, but CCHS extended its lead to 12-0 with 2:38 left in the first quarter.
Brown led the CCHS receivers with four catches for 88 yards and a score.
Singleton tossed two more first half scores — a 20 yard strike to Landry with 3:33 left and a 39 yard pass to Hoffpauir, who snared the pigskin in double coverage by Ascension Catholic’s Grant Rousseau and Robert Landry with 1:06 remaining for a 27-0 CCHS lead.
Singleton completed 12 of 18 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran nine times for 44 yards and another score.
The Eagles continued their scoring in the second half when Brown scored on a 35-yard punt return.
On the play, the Eagles coaching staff had instructed its players to get away from the ball, but sensing an opportunity for a touchdown, Brown picked up the loose ball and raced upfield for the score and a 34-0 CCHS lead with 7:24 left in the third quarter.
Fuhrer said Brown was executing a drill in practice in which the Eagles practice scooping the football up and running it back for a touchdown.
“They overran their coverage and the ball’s on the ground,” Fuhrer said. “We’re still playing. I told the guys we got to play. I wasn’t trying to run the score up. He (Brown) came (on) the sideline and he said, ‘coach, just like scoop and score drill,’ and I said, ‘sure was.’”
Singleton added another CCHS touchdown on a 1 yard run with 3:34 left, while Blanchard concluded the scoring for the Eagles with a 25-yard run with two minutes remaining in the ball game.
Ascension Catholic finally got on the board with 15 seconds remaining when backup quarterback D.J. Latino tossed a 35-yard pass to wideout Paul Callegan.
Jake Lejeune’s pass attempt on the two-point conversion failed.
The win was especially sweet for those Central Catholic players who hail from the Pierre Part area and are familiar, or in some cases, related to the members of the Bulldog football team.
After Friday’s game, Central Catholic players took photos with friends on the Bulldog’s squad, while supporters of each school greeted each other.
“Some of them are related,” Fuhrer said. “Some of them, they grew up together. They do know a lot of the guys on the (Ascension Catholic) team. We were ready to play (them). Our kids got up for the game, and basically, Lloyd said it earlier today ‘just to redeem ourselves’ that we’re a much better ball club than we put out on the field the other night.”
CCHS churned out 508 yards of offense in a balanced attack that featured 243 yards on the ground and another 265 through the air.
Grogan led the Eagles with six carries for 131 yards and a touchdown.
The CCHS defense limited Ascension Catholic to 193 total yards (149 passing and 44 rushing). Quarterback Collin Rowland led the ACHS offense, completing eight of 21 passes for 114 yards and an interception.
Despite the blowout, ACHS had chances to score earlier, including on its first possession.
Callegan returned the opening kickoff 34 yards to the Ascension 47, and on the second play from scrimmage, Rowland completed a 44-yard pass to Lejeune down to the Central Catholic 6.
The Bulldogs moved the ball down to the CCHS 1 using its ground game, but tailback Cade Schexnayder was limited to a 1-yard gain on fourth and goal at the CCHS 2.
Later in the first quarter, ACHS began an offensive series at the CCHS 27 after a Bulldog special teams player returned a CCHS punt 33 yards. However, ACHS could gain no yards on four plays.
R. Landry also missed a 26-yard field goal late in the third quarter for the Bulldogs.
CCHS returns to action Friday when it travels to Lafitte to face Fisher High School.