By Peter Pasqua
PLAQUEMINE – Ascension Catholic High School only took a three-point lead into halftime but got a pair of touchdowns from Jai Williams in the third quarter to put distance between them and St. John-Plaquemine Friday night in a 35-26 District 6-1A victory at Andrew Canova Green Devil Stadium.
The Bulldogs (9-1, 4-1), No. 6 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 1A poll and under the helm of Drey Trosclair, rushed for 293 yards on the night with Williams scoring four touchdowns. Ascension Catholic finishes as district runners-up to Southern Lab after downing top-ranked Kentwood last week.
The War Eagles (3-7, 0-5) countered with 231 yards passing from Adam Blanchard who completed 29-of-67 attempts and three touchdowns all to Justin Rivet.
Williams’ 63-yard run opened scoring before Blanchard connected with Rivet on a 3-yard touchdown to cut it to 7-6 in the first quarter of the game between a pair of west bank Catholic school ancient rivals.
The Eagles took the lead 18-14 on another 3-yard connection between Blanchard and Rivet after the quarterback scored on an 8-yard run following Williams’ second touchdown from a yard out but Ascension Catholic led 21-18 at the half when Bulldogs’ quarterback Rodney Blanchard rushed for a 19-yard touchdown and converted the third of five extra points on the night.
Williams scored on runs of 11 and 1 yard in the third quarter and Blanchard and Rivet’s final connection of the night came from 14 yards out in the fourth quarter. Isiah Jones hauled in the two-point conversion to reflect the final tally.
Ascension Catholic earned the No. 2 seed in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Division IV playoffs and will host 15th seeded Hanson Memorial (3-7) Friday night at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium.
The Bulldogs reeled off victories over Houma Christian, St. Edmund and St. Mary’s last season on the way to the title game in the Superdome where they fell to Lafayette Christian 10-0 to finish state runners-up.