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  • Tyler Harden

Superior defense leads Catholic past Acadiana in a battle between Louisiana powerhouses

Photo Credit: The Acadiana Advocate

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA— The Catholic-Baton Rouge Bears and Acadiana Rams are two powerhouse programs in the state of Louisiana; Catholic won the Division 1 State Championship last season, and Acadiana won the 5A State Championship the past two seasons. Both teams came into the highly anticipated matchup at 1-0, and they looked to really prove themselves with a significant win in Week 2. The key to success for both teams in their season openers was keeping a strong defense in order to give the offense momentum, which makes sense, because as the saying goes “defense wins championships”, and both Catholic and Acadiana are definitely used to doing that. But there’s another saying: “the past is in the past”, and this matchup showed who has the championship momentum going forward.

Catholic started moving down the field right from the first play from scrimmage, as Tre Benson caught a screen pass for a 12 yard gain to their own 32-yard line. The run game between Taelon Nicholas and Corey Singleton lead the Bears down the field from there, and Singleton capped off the drive with a 16-yard touchdown to give Catholic an early 7-0 lead (PAT good). The Bears powerful defense was on full display right from the start, as they forced a 3-and-out from Acadiana on their first drive. After Catholic was forced to punt, however, the defense picked them back up. Linebacker, Jack Massey, recovered a fumble at the Acadiana 18-yard line for the Bears to the end the first quarter with a 7-0 lead.

The Bears couldn’t get in the end zone despite their very good field position, so they were forced to settle for a 29-yard field goal to go up 10-0. Catholic’s defense came up big once again, as cornerback, Joshua Robertson, intercepted a pass, and gave the Bears the ball at their own 28-yard line. But neither team could find a spark on offense for the remainder of the quarter, and halftime came with Catholic in the lead 10-0.

Acadiana came into the second half with some intensity on offense, marching down the field all the way to the Catholic 11-yard line. But they were brought to 4th and 1, and when they went for it, the Catholic defense once again took over and stopped them. The defense kept going, recovering a fumble on Acadiana’s next drive, and giving the Bears offense the ball at the Acadiana 11-yard line.

When the Bears were brought to 4th and 1 from the Acadiana 2-yard line, Corey Singleton was able to find a hole, and he ran 2 yards into the end zone to extend Catholic’s lead to 17-0 (PAT good). After both teams were forced to punt, Catholic safety, Joshua Wax, intercepted a pass and took it back for a touchdown, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty, and the Bears took over at their own 46-yard line.

The Catholic run game found a rhythm, as the Bears went down the field to the Acadiana 8-yard line. But they were brought to 4th down, and were forced to kick a field goal to make the score 20-0. Catholic’s defense was able to come up with one final stop, forcing 4th down and 7 for Acadiana as the clock expired. Catholic had slain a giant in Week 2, strengthened their case for being the best team in Louisiana, and increased their chances early on on winning back-to-back state championships.

Catholic moves to 2-0 with a very big win over Acadiana, who came into the game as the number-1 team in Louisiana. The Bears will hope to continue their win-streak going into next week, as they head up to West Monroe on Friday, September 17th at 8 PM ET (7 PM CT). Acadiana falls to 1-1 and the Rams look to bounce back next week against Lafayette Christian Academy on Friday, September 17th at 8 PM ET (7 PM CT).

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