Chad Elzy Jr. tied an LHSAA football playoff record that video game wizards have trouble replicating last Friday.
Elzy’s record-tying nine touchdowns in Ascension Catholic’s meteoric 77-43 Division IV select regional-round playoff victory over Opelousas Catholic is part of the story. that Elzy well.
“We already beat (OCHS) them once … early in the year. I felt good going into the game, but we had to come out strong,” Elzy explained. “Early on, I caught this screen pass — I reached up with one hand to grab it – and then turned up field and scored. That felt right. We kept going from there.”
Elzy and the ninth-seeded Bulldogs (10-2) went on to post numbers of seemingly mythical proportions. He ran for 461 yards on 27 carries with rushing TDs in the game. ACHS had 689 yards of offense.
Watching a running back from a Class 1A school perform at a high level is nothing new in Louisiana. Historically speaking, before spread and tempo offenses, the ability of a 1A star to grind out yardage was expected.
ACHS’ father-son duo of Germaine “Juice” Williams and Jai Williams count in that number. Germaine Williams, who went on to play at LSU, was Louisiana’s career rushing leader for several years.
St. Martin’s Harlem Berry and Dedric Lastie of Riverside Academy are among the top 1A backs this season. Berry, a coveted 2025 national recruit, has 1,980 yards and 36 TDs. Lastie is at 1,927 yards with 33 TDs. What Elzy has done goes beyond those numbers.
Elzy enters this week’s quarterfinal game at top-seeded Vermilion Catholic (11-0) as the top rusher in all eight LHSAA playoff divisions. Though he is a first-year starter you can’t call what the 5-foot-9, 185-pound junior is doing beginner’s luck.
“We knew he had what it takes to be a pretty good running back,” ACHS coach Chris Sanders said. “He has speed and at the end of the summer he maxed out with a 480-pound squat in the weight room.
“So, there you have the strength factor. Chad’s vision and ability to read blocks and is part of it too.”
Going into Friday’s quarterfinal at top-seeded Vermilion Catholic (11-0), Elzy has 2,632 yards on 169 carries with 45 TDs. That’s an average of 15.6 yards per carry. His overall tally of 48 TDs and 10 two-point conversions adds up to 308 points.
Think there might be statistics padding? Sanders nixes that. Elzy played in the fourth quarter in just four games so far this season. He seldom played after halftime.
How did a guy who played primarily defensive back a year ago evolve into mega-rusher? It was by design, for an offense that graduated seven players.
With four seniors and one junior returning on the line, it made sense to run right at other teams with 280-pound Travis Cedotal and 275-pound Kingston Cayette helping to lead the way for a group that also includes Brennan Tripode, Luke Templet and Austin Paine.
The Bulldogs have 3,926 rushing yards as a team for an average of 10.8 yards per carry. Demarcus Gant adds 518 yards and seven TDs.
Seeing Elzy emerge as the leader of a four-member running back group was not a surprise. Family history weighs in just a bit for Elzy. Brandon Jacobs, a bruising 6-4 running back who starred at Assumption High and played in the NFL, is a cousin.
“The line opens things up and I run through the holes,” Elzy said. “Once I get past the line my job is to run hard … keep my legs moving and get as far as I can, especially after contact.”