Playing in a state quarterfinal game for the second straight season, the Bulldogs put up a dominating performance on defense, and once again, they got 100-yard rushing performances from both Jamar Barber and Jai Williams in a 21-0 shutout victory on the road over No. 3 St. Edmund's.
The Ascension Catholic Bulldogs are one step closer to claiming their first state championship in 25 years.
Playing in a state quarterfinal game for the second straight season, the Bulldogs put up a dominating performance on defense, and once again, they got 100-yard rushing performances from both Jamar Barber and Jai Williams in a 21-0 shutout victory on the road over No. 3 St. Edmund’s.
The win pushed sixth-seeded Ascension Catholic through to the semifinals. This will be their first semifinal appearance since 1992—the last time the school won a state title.
Against the Blue Jays, the Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead with just four seconds left in the first quarter.
It was the culmination of a 12-play, 96-yard drive that was highlighted by a six-yard touchdown run by Williams.
Williams saw the end zone again early in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs began their drive on a short field. It took them six plays to move 41 yards, and they were able to take a 14-0 lead into halftime with a three-yard touchdown run by Williams.
This 14-0 advantage lasted until late in the fourth quarter, when Ascension Catholic put the finishing touches on the effort. Williams earned the hat-trick with a 25-yard touchdown run.
Williams finished the night with 115 yards rushing and all three of the Bulldogs’ scores, while Barber chewed up 142 yards on 13 carries.
The Ascension Catholic defense was superb.
Bubba Gautreau broke his hand in week nine against Kentwood. This ended his season at quarterback and sidelined him for two games at linebacker.
He made his return at middle backer for the quarterfinal game on Friday night, and he made his presence felt with a team-high 14 tackles.
Dillion Davis had 11 tackles and a sack, and Charlie Gianelloni had seven tackles and a sack.
The Bulldogs picked off St. Edmund’s twice. Those two interceptions were gathered in by Brock Acosta and Eric Simon, Jr. It was the second straight game Simon collected a pick.
It was their first victory by shutout in a quarterfinal game in school history. In two playoff games, the Bulldogs have only allowed 7 total points.
Ascension Catholic now makes their return to the state semifinals for the first time in nearly three decades. The last time they were there, they destroyed Teurlings Catholic, 66-3, en route to winning their third state title, their second under head coach Bucky Mistretta.
In this Friday night’s semifinal matchup, they’ll face St. Mary’s at home.
St. Mary’s is much better than their 10th seed indicates. They went 8-2 during the regular season.
In the opening round, they crushed seventh-seeded Opelousas Catholic, 33-3. In the quarterfinals, they upset No. 2 Cedar Creek, 40-34.