Ville Platte High quarterback Terrian Roy (3) finds open room as teammate Jahmal Byers (2) leads the way. Roy and the Bulldogs defeated Ascension Christian Friday night, 33-13, in a non-district contest. It was Ville Platte’s homecoming game. The Bulldogs now stand at 2-7 on the season with the win. (Gazette photo by Sylis Manuel)
VILLE PLATTE -- The Ville Platte Bulldogs steam rolled the Ascension Christian Lions 33-13 in a crucial homecoming win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
With the win, Ville Platte improves to 3-6 on the season. The Bulldogs will travel to Welsh Friday night to take on the Greyhounds in the last game of the regular season.
Bulldog running back Jahmal Byers was a big part of Ville Platte’s success, raking in 175 yards rushing on 15 carries and a touchdown
“We missed opportunities all game,” said Lions head coach Joshua Puryear. “We need to work on allowing our offense to capitalize on mistakes by our opponents.”
When asked how it felt to get back into the win column, Bulldogs head coach Jorie Randle was excited in his response,
“This was more than just a win, this gave our team the hope we needed,” stated Randle. “We just need to clean a couple things up and we’ll hopefully be able to make a serious run in the playoffs.”
Starting off at their own 37-yard line following the opening kickoff, Ascension Christian looked to make something happen with their decent field position. However, their nine play drive was to no avail, as a turnover on downs gave Ville Platte the ball at the Lion 45-yard line.
The Bulldogs did not take big defensive effort for granted, marching the ball all the way up the field in five plays, capping off their drive with a 16 yard touchdown pass from Brandon Veazie to Tyler Jones. The extra point off the foot of Veazie was no good, but Ville Platte still found themselves up 6-0 with 5:08 left in the first quarter.
After forcing Ascension Christian to another turnover on downs, the Bulldogs once again earned great field position, this time at the Lion 34-yard line. Three running plays later, Ville Platte faced a second and goal at the Ascension Christian one-yard line.
From there, Bulldog running back Terrian Roy punched it in to pick up Ville Platte’s second touchdown of the game. The extra point from Veazie was no good, never-the-less the Bulldogs still improved their lead to 12-0 with 1:02 left in the first quarter.
Things didn’t pick back up again until late in the second quarter. Starting from their 19-yard line, the Lions carried the ball all the way to the 45-yard line. On third and ten, Ascension Christian quarterback Zach Diez lobbed a short pass to Byron Hansley, who raced it the entire 55 yards for the touchdown.
The kick from Jacob Etter was no good, but the Lions still found their first points of the game, leaving the score at 12-6 with 16 seconds left in the second quarter. That lead would hold as both teams headed into their locker rooms.
Trying to catch the Bulldogs off guard, Ascension Christian started off the half with a onside kick. To many people’s surprise, the Lions recovered the kickoff and started their drive right at midfield.
Facing a tough situation, the Bulldog defense quickly shut Ascension Christian down, only allowing 24 yards in nine plays. The Lions were forced to punt, and Ville Platte got the ball back at their 35-yard line.
For the majority of the next drive, it was all Byers, who earned 65 yards rushing in just three plays. Byers capped off the possession with an eight yard touchdown run. The extra point from Veazie was once again no good, but the Bulldogs were still up 18-6 with 6:56 left in the third quarter.
After yet another turnover on downs by Ascension Christian, Ville Platte was not satisfied with their current lead. Starting at the Lions 40-yard line, the Bulldogs barrelled the ball all the way to the two yard line. Veazie ran it in himself for the touchdown and he also ran in the two-point conversion, improving Ville Platte’s lead to 26-6 with 3:13 left in the third quarter.
With their comeback chances seeming to inch further and further away every second, Ascension Christian needed a big play to keep their hopes alive. Facing a third and 16 at their own 48-yard line on the ensuing possession, Diez hit Tyler Cambre on a pass just ahead of the line of scrimmage. Cambre subsequently sped through every Bulldog defender and earned the Lions their second touchdown of the game. The kick from Etter was good, cutting the Ville Platte lead to 26-13 with 1:26 left in the third quarter.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Lions would need to keep the momentum going if they wanted to stay in the game. Facing a fourth and six at their own 24-yard line, Diez tried tossing the ball to Nathan Bledsoe, but the ball was picked off by Ville Platte’s Colby Lafleur down field.
Starting at the 46-yard line, the Bulldogs eventually found themselves at the Ascension Christian four-yard line. There, Jadon Bellard overpowered the Lion defensive line, pummeling through to paydirt. After Veazie kicked the extra point, Ville Platte took a 20 point lead, 33-13, with just 1:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.