CCHS to host improved Ascension Episcopal
By GEOFF STOUTE
Central Catholic head football coach David Fuhrer said Tuesday that in recent years, the Eagles may have thought of its matchup against Ascension Episcopal as an “easier” game.
Looking forward to Thursday night’s matchup with the Blue Gators (4-2) he said he “doesn’t think it’s like that anymore.
“They do things that can hurt us,” he continued. “They have a good running back, decent line so we got to be ready to play.”
While Fuhrer said Ascension Episcopal has many of the same players as a year ago, they have a different coaching staff, different offensive and defensive schemes, and he feels like a new attitude.
“They seem to be playing pretty good football right now,” Fuhrer said of the squad, now led by Michael Desormeaux.
The Blue Gators have switched from a Wing T offense a year ago to a spread offense this year.
Desormeaux has reversed the Blue Gators’ fortunes from a 0-9 record a year ago to a 4-2 start to this season, including a 1-1 mark in District 7-1A play. The Blue Gators defeated Lafayette Christian 27-20 a week ago.
Desormeaux followed a standout high school career at Catholic High-New Iberia with a successful career at ULL where he earned all-Sun Belt Conference honors all four years, including Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year in 2008. He is currently third on the all-time ULL rushing list.
“I think he’s an excellent coach,” Fuhrer said of Desormeaux. “I think he’s done a great job with them. Like I said, it’s not an off week. It’s not a week where we can let our guard down.”
As for Desormeaux’s team, in last week’s win, Ascension Episcopal’s defense recorded three interceptions, but surrendered nearly 300 yards rushing to Lafayette Christian, which featured the state’s leading rusher in Dylan Hargrave.
Lafayette Christian had another 156 yards passing.
Fuhrer said Ascension Episcopal plays multiple fronts instead of the 50 defense they utilized a year ago.
“I can’t tell you what they base out of because they play everybody differently,” he said. “They played multiple fronts in every game that they’ve played. It’s nothing really new to us. We’re just going to prepare like we do each week except that we have a few more defensive fronts to prepare for, but I don’t think it’s anything different for our guys.”
Offensively, Ascension Episcopal’s Joey Greco had 142 yards on 24 carries a week ago.
In the Eagles’ matchup with Ascension Episcopal a year ago, Greco rushed for 139 yards on 21 carries, including a 70-yard score.
“He’s bigger, faster stronger,” Fuhrer said.
As for Central Catholic (1-5, 1-2), the Eagles broke a seven-game losing streak dating back to last year with Friday’s 28-18 win against Hanson. The Eagles also continued a winning streak against Hanson during the regular season with their 21st straight win in the series.
Fuhrer said it was a “great relief” among the coaches and players this week after getting their first win. He said it also makes practice easier when the team is not “stressing out” about trying to win their first game.
“It was like the monkey off our back,” Fuhrer said. “I thought we had a really good week of practice last week. This week I think we’ve had a good week of practice. (We’re) pretty healthy for the most part. There’s a couple guys banged up from Friday night, but I think we’re good … to go.”
Central Catholic is led offensively by Stefano Guarisco, Nick Case, Tyler Hoffpauir and most recently, Eriq Blanchard.
Guarisco has rushed 90 times for 513 yards and eight scores, while he has caught 29 passes for 429 yards and three touchdowns.
Case has completed 87 of 157 passes for 1,069 yards, 10 touchdowns and has thrown six interceptions.
Hoffpauir has snagged 29 passes for 429 yards and three touchdowns.
Blanchard, meanwhile, on the strength of solid games against Vermilion Catholic and Hanson, has rushed 31 times for 158 yards this season.
Fuhrer noted that both Guarisco and Blanchard play offense and defense for the Eagles and the move to give Blanchard more time in the backfield was made to alleviate some stress off Guarisco, the Eagles’ primary ball carrier during the early part of the season.
“He’s stepped up to the challenge,” Fuhrer said of Blanchard, “and he’s doing a great job … A lot of our guys stepped up to the challenge. We’re playing a lot of young guys. … Eriq missed a year of football (because he) didn’t play last year. Obviously he stepped into his role this year and is doing a very good job for us.”
Thursday’s kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Additional reporting by www.theadvertiser.com