Division 4 State Championship Tale of the Tape
Ascension Catholic vs.. Lafayette Christian
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Ascension Catholic Bulldogs (11-2)
No. 6 seed
Head coach: Drey Trosclair, third year
Youngest head coach (27) to lead a team to the state championship
Defense: 3-3 stack
Jamar Barber: 158 carries, 1,643 yards rushing, 21 touchdowns
Jai Williams: 155 carries, 1,628 yards rushing, 25 total touchdowns
Quarterback John Mire: 570 total yards, 6 touchdowns
Wide receiver Tre Medine: 11-227 receiving, 4 touchdowns
Wide receiver Eric Simon: 6-189 receiving, touchdowns
Offensive linemen Nick Hilliard and Charlie Gianelloni
Kicker/punter Rodney Blanchard: 55/61 PAT and 3/7 field goals (long of 36), 37.8 punt average
Defensive end Dillion Davis: 14 sacks (second in state), 87 tackles
Defensive end Charlie Gianelloni: 6 sacks, 93 tackles
Nose guard JB Broussard: 6 sacks, 91 tackles
Linebacker Jai Williams: 111 tackles, 2 int
Linebacker Parker Hales: 105 tackles
Linebacker Bubba Gautreau: 92 tackles
Defensive back Rodney Blanchard: 4 interceptions (touchdowns)
Defensive back Mason Zeringue: 67 tackles
Defensive back Eric Simon: 37 tackles, 4 int.
Defensive back Jamar Barber: 54 tackles, 3 int.
Defensive back Brock Acosta: 31 tackles, 1 int.
Lafayette Christian Knights (12-1)
No. 4 seed
Head coach: Trev Faulk (second year)
Former LSU and NFL player
Running back Logan Gabriel
Quarterback Errol Rogers
Wide receiver Sage Ryan
Wide receiver/slot Trey Breaux
Wide receiver Montreal Felix
Offensive lineman Connor Thibodeax
Offensive lineman Beau Badon
Defensive lineman Fitzgerald West
Defensive lineman Tanner Guin
Linebacker Jaylen Dauphin
Linebacker Martin Lee
Linebacker Logan Gabriel
Defensive back Errol Rogers
Defensive back Collin LaHaye
Kicker Collin LaHaye
This matchup will include teams that are very similar in size and speed.
The Bulldogs rely on a strong running game led by Barber and Williams. Quarterback John Mire has taken over for the injured Bubba Gautreau and has done a nice job running the Bulldogs’ spread offense. The Bulldog defense has given up 28 points in three playoff games and is always in the right spot. They have allowed only one 100-yard rusher — Tyrian Davis, of Southern Lab — all season.
Strong defensive line play has been consistent all year, and the linebackers have led the team in tackles. The Bulldogs’ secondary has shown the ability to stop high-powered passing games as in the semifinal win over St. Mary.
The Knights have overcome the loss of quarterback Zach Clement to a knee injury in their only loss versus Vermilion Catholic and have inserted Logan Gabriel in the offense. Gabriel is a converted linebacker and has responded with over 600 yards rushing in the playoffs. Errol Rogers has taken over at quarterback and uses his feet to make big plays. Trey Breaux has returned from an injury and is explosive in the pass-and-run game.
The Knights play aggressive on defense and tackle well in space. Special teams are so important in big games and both teams have excellent kickers in Rodney Blanchard (AC) and Collin LaHaye (LCA). LaHaye booted a game-winning 30-yard field goal with 5 seconds left to beat Vermilion Catholic in the semifinals.
This matchup comes down to who makes the least mistakes. The Knights’ offensive line vs. the Bulldogs’ defensive line is a matchup that will be key. The Knights’ defense can match the speed of Ascension Catholic's offense. Tackling will be important for both defenses, plus which team can be more physical.
Ascension Catholic, which has played football for 90 years, last played for a state championship in 1992 and beat West St. John, 34-13. Lafayette Christian is a relatively new school and has ascended to the top surprisingly fast.
Only one team can raise the championship trophy. and the fans are certain to watch a really good game. Live coverage is available on the Bulldog Network starting at 2:30 p.m.
Ascension Parish volleyball 2017 All District selections
Hannah Settoon: first team
Isabelle Abadie: second team
Lauren Landry (junior): second team
Baylee Rambin: District Defensive MVP, first team
Gracie Duplechein: first team
Megan Arceneaux: second team
Taylor Baxter: second team
Megan Benoit: second team
Diamond Jones: District MVP, first team
Truli Joseph: first team
Meagan Ross: second team
Brylee Brown: second team
Jaela Drumgole: first team
Zoe Wooten: first team
Lauren Launey: first team
Kathleen Vasterling: second team