Ascension Catholic cruises into the quarterfinals

Kyle Riviere
Eric Simon, Jr. had a 45-yard touchdown reception in the Bulldogs' first-round win over Hanson. Photo by Michael Tororich.

For the third straight season, Ascension Catholic has come away with a blowout home victory in the first round of the playoffs.

This year, it was Hanson Memorial that felt the Bulldogs' wrath.

Ascension Catholic made sure the game was never a contest. They jumped on top early and often, cruising to a 45-0 halftime lead. With a running clock in the second half, the Bulldogs closed out an emphatic 52-8 victory.

Ascension Catholic came into the Division-IV playoffs as the second seed, only behind No. 1 Southern Lab. The Kittens handed the Bulldogs their lone loss of the season.

Against Hanson, Ascension Catholic's two-headed monster of Jai Williams and Jamar Barber at running back didn't see many carries, but when they did get the ball, they made the most of it.

On the Bulldogs' opening drive of the game, it took them just two plays to score. On play two, Barber ran it in from 23 yards out to put them ahead 7-0 early.

After forcing Hanson to punt on their next possession, Williams gathered in the kick and then exploded for 65 yards. The special teams touchdown extended the Bulldog lead to 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

Williams wasn't done. On Ascension Catholic's next possession, he broke loose on a 45-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0.

To finish off the first quarter onslaught, Barber scored from 35 yards out to give the Bulldogs a commanding 28-0 advantage.

To start the second, Williams scored his final touchdown of the game as he went in from 25 yards out.

Later, Ascension Catholic's passing game got involved. Quarterback Rodney Blanchard hit Eric Simon, Jr. for a 45-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 42-0 lead midway through the second.

They ended the half with a 33-yard field goal by Blanchard.

With a running clock and with Ascension Catholic subbing out many of their starters, the only score of the third quarter came at the midway point when Dorian Barber broke loose on a 29-yard touchdown run to make it 52-0.

Hanson's only score came early in the fourth quarter when Brian Sonnier caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Stephen Rosemond.

In the win, Ascension Catholic held Hanson to just 140 total yards. Only seven of those yards came through the air.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs chewed up 386 yards on just 25 plays.

Williams had 121 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just five carries. Barber also had five carries that totaled 98 yards and two scores.

Williams added 12 tackles and a sack on the defensive side.

It was Ascension Catholic's 10th victory of the season.

Now, they will advance to the state quarterfinals. They'll have to make a trip to New Roads on Friday night to face the 10th-seeded Catholic of Pointe Coupee Hornets.

CHSPC is fresh off of a 19-12 upset victory over No. 7 St. Edmund in the opening round.

The Hornets went 7-2 during the regular season. Their offense was explosive, averaging 44 points per game.

They've played one common opponent. That was Ascension Catholic's district rival St. John. CHSPC beat them, 41-20. The Bulldogs beat the Eagles, 35-26, in their regular season finale.