Wildcat running game needs to step up against blitzing Ehret
|By Eric LeBlanc|
"Our defense played well, but we had a bad night on special teams," said head coach Chris Stroud. "We moved the ball well in the first half but we couldn't get anything going in the second."
The Wildcats' rode the running game to early success as running backs Mark Trudeaux and Lou Donovan Wells led a march into the red zone that resulted in a 23-yard field goal from Daniel Cimino. Then, two possessions later, wide receiver Rickey Jefferson took a handoff up the middle and broke free of the Karr defense for a 92-yard touchdown run.
But that was all the offense Destrehan would get as Karr's defense shut down the Wildcat running game from that point and blocked three consecutive punts spanning the second and third quarters. Those blocks resulted in a touchdown, a safety and a field goal for the Cougars.
"Three blocked punts is unheard of at Destrehan, so we definitely need to improve on that," Stroud said.
The Wildcat defense was the bright spot of the night, led by linebacker Tarquin Kenner who had two tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick. Eight of Karr's points came on special teams, and despite the Cougars having great field position throughout the second half, the defense limited them to 10 points in the half. The defense also held the Cougars out of the end zone twice when they were inside the 10-yard line and blocked a field goal. Coach Stroud was very proud of the effort.
"Our defense played hard," he said. "No matter how bad our field position was, they never shut down. They even made a stop at the end of the game when the game was already out of hand."
The Wildcat defense and offense will have their hands full this week as they face a similarly talented team in John Ehret. The Patriot offense is not as potent as Karr's, but their blitzing defense could cause some problems for the Wildcats.
"Ehret is similar to Karr in that they are a big, physical team," Stroud said. "But they are a bit younger. They play the spread offense and they blitz on defense."
Last season, the Wildcats held Ehret to just 50 total yards of offense on the way to a 35-6 victory. So far this year,the Patriot offense has sputtered at times as well, their only win coming in an 8-0 victory two weeks ago against South Plaquemines.
John Ehret is 1-2, but all of their games have been close. The Patriots fell to Hahnville in the first week of the season and to Slidell last week. A few gifted athletes, led by quarterback Michael Alexander, make the Patriots a dangerous team, especially on special teams. But Stroud is confident that his team will be able to meet the challenge.
"Our defense will carry us again this week like they have so far this year," he said. "We have to play sound in special teams and our offense has to get a little better. I'm hoping our two running backs can step up and play well for us."
The Wildcats will host John Ehret on Friday at 7 p.m.
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