Destrehan's defense was supposed to lead the charge for the Wildcats this season as they look to rebound from last year's 3-7 record. After their 14-6 jamboree victory over a powerful Lutcher offense, that appears to be right on target.
|Destrehan junior Rickey Jefferson made big plays on both sides of the ball in the Wildcats jamboree win over Lutcher. Jefferson scored on a 4-yard run and then clinched the victory with an interception.
Lutcher, who returned star running back Daniel Taylor and most of their offense from last season, couldn't get anything going against the Wildcats. In fact, Destrehan held the Bulldogs to only 164 yards of offense in the jamboree.
“I was really pleased with the defense’s play,” Destrehan head coach Chris Stroud said. “The front five played well and we were good in the secondary. We did make some mistakes, but that's normal at this point in the season and we will focus on correcting them.”
The Wildcats are loaded on defense this season, especially on the D-line. Marrick Charles and Bryan Singleton are starting for their third year, while fellow senior lineman Dereck Robinson had 14 tackles for loss and four sacks last season.
Junior Rickey Jefferson, who not only plays a variety of positions on offense but also plays in the Wildcat secondary, came up with an interception with 23 seconds left in the game to seal the Wildcat victory.
Offensively, the Wildcats looked good when running the ball. Jefferson scored on a 4-yard run and senior running back Kevin Smith had a 20-yard run for a touchdown.
“We moved the ball well on offense at times and shot ourselves in the foot at other times,” Stroud said. “We do need to get more consistency in our passing game, but the big thing is that we didn’t turn the ball over.”
The Wildcats open the season Friday when they host South Lafourche, who finished with a 4-6 record last year. The Tarpons lost their first five games of the year, but rebounded in the second half of the season to pick up wins in four of their last five games.
Because of that second-half resurgence, the Tarpons finished tied for second place in District 8-5A, though they didn’t make the playoffs.
South Lafourche played several underclassman last season, which means that nine starters on offense are returning. Quarterback Seth Griffin leads the charge on that side of the ball and ran for 106 yards while passing for 67 yards in his team’s 21-18 win over Miller-McCoy in their jamboree last week.
“They have four good hands on offense and they run a two-quarterback system,” Stroud said. “They throw a variety of formations at you, including the wishbone, spread and I-set, which can be difficult to defend.”
Stroud adds that South Lafourche also has a big, strong offensive line.
“So we will see how good our front five really are,” he said.
Defensively, the Tarpons return only five starters. That group gave up 300 yards in the jamboree victory.
“That was probably because they were running a vanilla defense, but we are still going to have to be able to run the ball well,” Stroud said. “To win we are going to have to win the turnover battle and play consistent on special teams.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Destrehan High School.