Lafayette Christian Academy had plenty of big wins during the season. Scoring 42 second-half points in the Division IV title game was the boldest statement yet.
It was more than enough to give fourth-seeded Lafayette Christian a 56-7 victory over No. 2 Ascension Catholic at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic on Thursday. The win also gave the Knights their second consecutive title.
“Last year I didn’t get to play, which really hurt me because I love my teammates. I wanted to be out there with them,” LCA quarterback Zachary Clement said. “It was a very special experience for me.”
A year after sitting out the title game with an injury, Clement was voted the Knights' MVP after rolling up 333 yards in his Mercedes-Benz Superdome debut. He ran for 111 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns and passed for 222 yards and three TDs for LCA (14-0).
Ascension Catholic running back Jai Williams had a record-breaking game and was his team’s MVP. Williams rushed for 262 yards on 40 carries. Both numbers set Class 1A/Division IV records.
Williams’ 40 carries also set a record for all classes/division. He finished 10 yards shy of the rushing yards mark of 272 set by current LSU running back Nick Brossette of University High in 2014.
Another key number told the story of the game. ACHS (12-2) turned the ball over five times — three interceptions and two fumbles — with four of those turnovers coming in the second half as LCA broke the game open.
“We were down seven at halftime and felt like we were in control of the football game,” ACHS coach Drey Trosclair said. “With the style of game we play, smashmouth football, we thought we could run the ball and control the clock. I really liked the position we were in.”
Lafayette Christian set the tone early by scoring 13 seconds into the game when Clement completed a 59-yard scoring pass to Errol Rogers Jr. on the game’s first scrimmage play. The play was memorable for LCA because Rogers filled it at quarterback in the Knights 10-0 title-game win over Ascension Catholic a year ago.
The Bulldogs countered with an 11-play, 74-yard drive on their second possession. John Mire tossed a 22-yard TD pass to Andrew Landry to tie it 7-7 with 2:31 left in the first quarter.
Clement scored on a 37-yard run with 51 seconds left in the opening quarter. Neither team scored in the second quarter.
After ACHS opened the second half with a brief possession, Clement struck again, this time tossing a 41-yard pass to Victor Dupre. When Clement scored on a 4-yard run three plays later, momentum started to shift more toward LCA. The next big play — Nicholas Picard’s recovery of a high Bulldogs punt snap in the end zone — put things over the top, making it 28-7 with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
“Down three scores, we had to try and get bigger chunks of yards. We did some things that were not characteristic of us,” Trosclair said. “Our guys kept fighting. They never gave up. We thought we had accounted for him (Clement) in our game plan. Sometimes you have to tip your cap.”
Sage Ryan scored three of LCA’s fourth-quarter TDs — one on a 31-yard pass from Clement, a 42-yard interception return and a 66-yard punt return.
“Really proud of this team and coaching staff,” LCA coach Barry Baldwin Jr. said. “It is really hard to win it one year, but to do it twice and against the same team with that team thinking about that loss for a year. … That is really impressive.”