DONALDSONVILLE — There was nothing new or fancy about Ascension Catholic’s offensive game plan, but what it lacked in flash it made up for in its effectiveness.
The sixth-seeded Bulldogs stuck with what they do best, running the football, and ran away from Houma Christian to claim a 63-7 win in a first-round Division IV select playoff game at Floyd Boutte Stadium.
Jamar Barber and Jai Williams, a pair of 1,000-yard rushers during the regular season, each ran for more than 100 yards to lead the way.
Barber had 178 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, and he added another score on an interception return. Williams ran for two scores of his own, rushing nine times for 103 yards.
“Both of those guys have over 1,300 yards apiece on the season, and that’s special,” ACHS coach Drey Trosclair said. “They take the offense where it wants to go, but they also have a really good offensive line in front of them opening up holes.”
Ascension Catholic (9-2) averaged 47 points per game in its regular-season wins and scored 60 points for the fourth time this season. The offensive output was backed up by a defense that didn’t allow a first down until the Bulldogs led 35-0.
“We had a great defensive game plan, and the kids do not like giving up points,” Trosclair said. “I think they did a good job all night of just slowing down their attack.”
No. 11 seed Houma Christian (6-4) struggled to move the ball. The Warriors drove inside the red zone just once and didn’t score until late in the fourth quarter.
That score, a 55-yard pass from Damien Pennison to Je’Coire Ward, was the only highlight for Houma Christian.
“We knew there was a size and speed difference coming in,” HCHS coach Chuck Battaglia said. “We had one or two opportunities early on to keep a drive going, and we didn’t pick up the crucial yard. Against a team like (Ascension Catholic), everything has to be clicking.”
Ascension Catholic had three turnovers, all off the hands of quarterback John Mire. Two were fumbles while the third was an interception.
Houma Christian tried to catch the Bulldogs off-guard to start the game. The Warriors attempted an onside kick that went out of bound before they could recover it.
The Warriors recovered a Bulldogs fumble at the HCHS 27 on the next series but turned the ball back over on downs when Justin Medina was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1.
Ascension Catholic’s Jamar Barber scored on a 36-yard run on the next play, and Houma Christian was back on its heels the rest of the half.
Before the first quarter ended, Barber scored again on a 37-yard run, and Williams raced in from 25 yards out.
Ascension Catholic continued to stretch its lead in the second quarter. Williams scored on a 44-yard run to make it 28-0. On the next series, Rodney Blanchard returned an interception 35 yards for another score.
The Warriors picked up their initial first down with 10:30 remaining in the half, trailing 35-0. They moved to a first down at the ACHS 16 before stalling. Zac Trujillo was thrown for a 2-yard loss, and quarterback Damien Pennison was pressured into three straight incompletions.