Photos: Acadiana private schools host jamborees at St. Thomas Moore on Friday _lowres

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Former Ascension Episcopal coach Michael Desormeaux

With each passing week, Ascension Episcopal football coach Michael Desormeaux is quick to remind his upstart program about the pitfalls of success.

It’s been a driving force for the Blue Gators’ season thus far.

“I’ve told them the slope’s always steepest at the top, and whenever you start winning and getting a little bit better, people are going to give you their best shot every week,” Desormeaux said. “We have to be prepared for it.”

A year after winning four of its first five games, Ascension Episcopal has managed to do one better, going undefeated (5-0) at the midway point heading into Friday’s home showdown for the District 7-1A lead with No. 5 Vermilion Catholic (4-1).

The Gators swapped spots in this week’s Louisiana Sportswriters Association’s state rankings, which were released Tuesday, edging the Eagles by one vote for the No. 4 position in the Class 1A poll, while Central Catholic-Morgan City (5-0) is No. 7.

“We’re in a little bit of a unique situation than we have been in the past,” Desormeaux said. “Part of maturity is being able to handle that. We talk about that a lot — handling the position which is a little bit new to us.”

AES reaped the benefits of last year’s 8-4 record and appearance in the Division IV state quarterfinals against Southern Lab.

The Gators began the season ranked No. 9 in the preseason and promptly delivered a 29-22 road victory over then No. 6 East Beauregard and followed that with a 35-14 home win over Catholic-Pointe Coupee.

“I told our kids that’s what we wanted,” Desormeaux said. “We wanted this. We wanted high expectations. After a big win in Week One, I didn’t think we played well in Week Two and we still won.”

Crowley (5-0) is the leader of the area’s Class 4A pack, rising three spots to No. 3 after its 51-6 win over DeQuincy, followed by No. 4 St. Thomas More (4-1) and No. 6 Teurlings Catholic (3-2).

Notre Dame (5-0) picked up a first-place vote and remained No. 2 in Class 2A with Church Point (4-1) tumbling three spots following its first loss — a 57-12 setback to Class 4A’s No. 7 team, Franklinton.

AES didn’t let up a week after a 49-12 district win over Hanson, the Gators made short work of Gueydan 65-0.

Quarterback Jake Arceneaux, a Louisiana-Lafayette commitment, completed 6 of 9 passes for 130 yards and a TD, running back Ja’Ceiry Linzer carried three times for 92 yards and two TDs. Leo Franques added 75 yards and a TD on 11 attempts.

“It’s a unique thing for some of these guys, but it’s a great thing,” said Desormeaux, whose team is averaging 45 points per game. “We’ve got a pretty veteran group, and they handle it well.”

Class 5A

Team (#1 votes) Rec Pts Pvs

1. Rummel (6) 4-1 106 1

2. West Monroe (4) 5-0 105 2

3. John Curtis 3-1 93 4

4. Destrehan 5-0 92 7

5. Airline 5-0 64 9

6. Brother Martin 4-1 62 3

7. Zachary 4-1 55 8

8. Parkway 4-1 41 NR

9. Evangel 4-1 33 10

10. Ponchatoula 4-1 27 6

10. Byrd (tie) 4-1 27 5

Others receiving votes: Scotlandville 16, St. Paul’s 13, Mandeville 9, Acadiana 8, Dutchtown 8, Haughton 8, Holy Cross 6, Catholic-BR 4, John Ehret 1.

Class 4A

Team (#1 votes) Rec Pts Pvs

1. Neville (10) 4-0 120 1

2. McDonogh 35 5-0 106 2

3. Crowley 5-0 93 6

4. St. Thomas More 4-1 87 5

5. Bastrop 5-0 71 7

6. Teurlings 3-2 68 3

7. Franklinton 3-2 57 8

8. North DeSoto 4-1 49 4

9. Warren Easton 4-1 42 9

10. Livonia 4-1 33 NR

Others receiving votes: Benton 31, Minden 12, Breaux Bridge 6, DeRidder 1, Lakeshore 1, Plaquemine 1.

Class 3A

Team (#1 votes) Rec Pts Pvs

1. University (8) 4-1 116 1

2. De La Salle (2) 5-0 107 3

3. So. Beauregard 5-0 101 4

4. Parkview Bapt. 3-2 82 5

5. Lutcher 4-1 79 6

6. Amite 3-2 70 2

7. North Webster 3-2 53 8

8. St. James 4-1 49 10

9. E.D. White 3-2 39 9

10. Church Point 4-1 33 7

Others receiving votes: Eunice 20, Patterson 20, Union Parish 4, Jennings 3, West Feliciana 3, Marksville 1.

Class 2A

Team (#1 votes) Rec Pts Pvs

1. Sterlington (7) 5-0 115 1

2. Notre Dame (1) 5-0 110 2

3. Many (2) 4-1 93 4

4. Riverside 3-1 75 5

5. Calvary Bapt. 3-2 67 7

6. St. Thomas Aquinas 5-0 64 8

7. Ouachita Chr. 4-1 59 3

8. St. Charles 4-1 52 6

9. Kinder 4-1 43 9

10. Madison Prep 5-0 39 10

Others receiving votes: Country Day 18, Menard 18, Mangham 14, Welsh 10, Northeast 3.

Class 1A

Team (#1 votes) Rec Pts Pvs

1. St. Mary’s (8) 5-0 118 1

2. Southern Lab (1) 4-1 106 2

3. Kentwood 4-1 96 3

4. Ascension Epis. (1) 5-0 87 5

5. Vermilion Cath. 4-1 86 4

6. Haynesville 4-1 70 6

7. Central Catholic 5-0 64 7

8. Hamilton Chr. 4-1 45 9

9. East Beauregard 4-1 39 10

10. Basile 4-1 24 8

Others receiving votes: Cedar Creek 22, White Castle 19, St. Frederick 4.