Braeden George helps Episcopal rally past Ascension Catholic, 33-28

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Episcopal football

BATON ROUGE – Episcopal escaped a thriller Friday night with a 33-28 comeback victory at home over Ascension Catholic.

Braeden George scored three total touchdowns and a two-point conversation to lead the unbeaten Knights. His final score, a four-yard run with 4:28 to play, capped a 10-play, 67-yard clutch drive.

Episcopal’s defense stepped up in the final minutes in a game where three of the four visitings Bulldogs touchdown drives took less than 30 seconds.

“They hit big play (after) big play. We’ve got seven sophomores out there but they didn’t quit,” said Episcopal head coach Travis Bourgeois. “It’s the first time we had adversity all year and we answered the bell.”

The biggest turning point of a highly-entertaining battle happened in the fourth quarter with the scored tied at 21-21.

George, a two-way standout, returned an interception 75 yards to paydirt to put the Knights ahead 27-21.

“The pick-six obviously hurt. It both killed a drive and put them ahead,” Ascension Catholic head coach Chris Sanders added. “We didn’t handle adversity as well as they did.”

It did appeared the Bulldogs handled some of said adversity on the following drive. Casey Mays scored from 33 yards out to put Ascension Catholic back on top, 28-27, with 7:19 to play but they could not hold on to their final lead.

Ascension Catholic (3-2) took an early 14-0 advantage thanks to a pair of Bryce Leonard to Calvin Delone touchdown passes. Leonard hit Delone for a 83-yard strike in the first quarter. For an encore two drives later, a 62-yard touchdown put the Bulldogs ahead 14-0.

Episcopal’s Lewis Ward scoresd on a quarterback sneak at the goalline to finish off a 65-yard touchdown drive. Still down a score, the Knights had made the ensuing extra point but lost their placekicker to a groin injury.

While Ascension Catholic’s scores seemed to come in a flash, Episcopal had to grind out theirs. A nine-play, 79-yard drive ended by a six-yard touchdown run from George drew the Knights closer but the point-after failed leaving the Bulldogs up 14-13 with just 48 seconds left in the opening half.

After a good return and a 15-year penalty on Episcopal, Ascension Catholic needed just 32 seconds to go 45 yards. A 13-yard connection from Bryce Leonard to his twin brother Brooks Leonard gave the Bulldogs a 21-13 advantage at the break.

Episcopal (5-0) opened the third quarter with a solid drive, and Ward’s 11-yard bootleg run set up the Knights with a chance to tie. George evened the score at 21 on a two-point conversion run.

“I just thought it was a helluva high school football game,” Bourgeois said. “Two teams competing their tails off.”

Both teams have a short week ahead before Thursday night games. Episcopal visits Capitol while Ascension Catholic will try to rebound from a second-straight close defeat when they host St. John.

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