YOUNGSVILLE — The No. 1 seeded Ascension Episcopal Blue Gators came away with a 21-7 victory over St. Frederick on Friday night in the Division IV select football playoffs.
The back-and-forth battle was not decided until Ascension’s Jake Vasacocu picked off St. Frederick quarterback Barrett Coon with 28 seconds left in the game.
Ascension Episcopal running back Ja’Ceiry Linzer led the way for the Blue Gators, rushing for for 155 yards on 24 carriers and one score.
AES got the scoring started at 1:01 of the first quarter when quarterback Jake Arceneaux scored on a 10-yard run.
The Blue Gators carried a 6-0 lead into halftime. St. Frederick’s only score on the night came on Ron Morris’ 6-yard run midway through the third quarter. The score put the Warriors on top 7-6.
But the lead would not last long, as just two plays later, Arceneaux hit freshman receiver Seth Kerstetter on a 63-yard bomb. After a successful two point try, the Blue Gators led 14-7.
With 5:42 left in the game, Ja’Ceiry Linzer put the game away with a 1-yard touchdown run over the right side.
The Blue Gators defense did its part, holding St. Francis to just 38 yards rushing and forced two crucial turnovers. The Warriors’ only big play was a 79-yard punt return by Ron Morris to set up their only score.
Jake Arceneaux finished with 188 yards passing. He added 23 rushing yards on nine carriers and a touchdown. Arceneaux’s favorite target was junior Zach Ronquillom, who had 68 yards on seven receptions.
With the victory Friday night, Ascension Episcopal will travel to Ruston to face No. 9 seed Cedar Creek.
Friday was the first time Ascension Episcopal has ever hosted a first-round playoff game at home.