Success breeds doubters. Doubters breed motivation. Motivation makes champions. Can Ascension Episcopal follow that formula?

After throwing all the chips on the table against Vermilion Catholic earlier this season with a victory on a late two-point conversion, Michael Desormeaux finds his Blue Gators defending their #1 seed in Division IV. Toward the end of the season, the LSWA polls favored St. Mary over AES...now they have a chance to prove the polls wrong and punch their ticket to the Superdome.

Their rise to prominence was exponential. At the end of last season, Quarterback Jake Arceneaux started showing glimpses of his massive upside. The puppy grew into his paws.

Arceneaux leads a diverse and deadly offensive attack. He committed to UL, and his two main compadres, Wide Receiver Ronald Leblanc and Running Back/Linebacker Ja'Ciery Linzer demand collegiate attention as well. Under the tutelage of Desormeaux, a former Ragin' Cajun QB and NFL talent, this system is blossoming.

The X's and O's make sense with Desormeaux, but his drive might be the best asset to this team.

Squads reflect their coaches. Desormeaux was known as a grinder for his devotion to the Cajun program, and his career carries reflect the beating he was willing to take for the name on the front of his jersey. He said before, he doesn't ask his players to do anything he never did before...but that's asking a lot.

Speaking of asking a lot, St. Mary's hasn't lost a single game all season. If AES wants to prove their legitimacy, they have to go through a juggernaut.

Every single game on St. Mary's slate is a W by multiple touchdowns. They have allowed over two scores the entire year. If you look at the numbers, it will start to scare you. Remember this: there's a reason Ascension Episcopal earned the top spot. District 7-1A was the most talented district in the state in 1A, and the Blue Gators won it.

It's only right that AES has to prove their worth against a real heavyweight. If you want to be the champ, you have to take out all comers.

To let you salivate for a week: if AES takes care of business, and Vermilion Catholic finds a way to get past Southern Lab, the Acadiana area would be treated to a rematch of one of the best games of the season for the state championship. The Screamin' Eagles and Blue Gators are about to be the 1A equivalent of STM and Teurlings...if they aren't already.

Desormeaux's group of grinders aren't going anywhere. Nobody expected them to be this good this fast, and they only need two more wins to silence the entire state.