YOUNGSVILLE — Ascension Episcopal’s Blue Gators proved they can move the football on the ground and in the air Friday night, and Hanson’s Tigers got the message in the District 7-A opener for both teams.
Ja’Ceiry Linzer and Andre Roth combined for 209 yards and four touchdowns rushing, Jake Arceneaux threw for 144 yards and two scores, and the fifth-ranked Gators rolled to a 49-12 win over the Tigers.
“We have some good weapons out there,” said Ascension Episcopal coach Mike Desormeaux, whose team improved to 4-0 for the first time in the program’s young history. “It doesn’t matter if we run or throw ... it’s easy to coach good players. They make you look like a genius.”
The Gators rolled up 453 total yards — 309 of them on the ground — and used that rushing attack to roll out to a 35-6 halftime lead. Then, after Hanson drove 52 yards with the second-half kickoff and Brant Broussard scored on a 13-yard run, AES put up two more touchdowns on its next two possessions for the clinching scores.
Linzer had 122 rush yards, including a 50-yard scoring burst with 7:26 left before halftime, and he added a 20-yard touchdown run five plays after Broussard’s score. Roth had scoring runs of 1 and 15 yards in the first half on his way to 87 yards, with those two leading an attack that churned out 24 first downs.
“Anyone who knows football knows that all starts in the offensive line,” Desormeaux said. “Our guys up front, they’re the ones that we count on to give us a chance to win every week.”
The Tigers (1-3, 0-1) hurt themselves with turnovers on their first two possessions, with quarterback Britt Young losing a fumble near midfield and Mac Kelly making the recovery to set up Roth’s first score. One possession later, Young was intercepted in the end zone to end Hanson’s deepest drive of the half.
Ascension grabbed a 7-0 lead when Arceneaux completed four passes in an opening 65-yard drive and capped the march with a 2-yard toss to Camp Juneau. He also finished the half with a 23-yard scoring pass to Jack Leoni that provided the four-score halftime lead.
For the game, Arceneaux — a Louisiana-Lafayette commitment — hit 11-of-18 passes including the two scores.
“He’s our catalyst,” said Desormeaux, a former Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback. “He makes a lot of things happen for us.”
Linzer’s 50-yard dash made it 21-0, but Hanson’s Luis Rodriguez got that score back quickly when he returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. But the Gators drove 60 yards in 10 plays to Roth’s second score, and then forced a punt with 1:04 left to get into position for Arceneaux’s second scoring pass.
The Gators and Tigers had already met once this year, facing off in the Kiwanis Jamboree when Ascension took a 28-0 victory. In four regular-season games, the Gators are now averaging over 40 points per game.
“It’s important for these kids to see some results,” said Desomeaux, whose program is in its sixth year of varsity play. “There’s still a lot of things we can clean up, and the kids see that on film. We’re not where we want to be. We can enjoy it, but our kids know they have bigger things ahead of them.”