Destrehanís defense will be tested by physical Dutchtown offense
Destrehan linebacker RaeJuan Marbley and defensive end Ed Leornard combined for a tackle in the Wildcats 55-12 win over Helen Cox. Destrehanís defense came up big in the game, getting three turnovers that led to quick scores for the Wildcat offense.
Against Helen Cox, Destrehan scored four touchdowns on the ground and four through the air. Senior quarterback Donovan Isom had another outstanding game, connecting on 12 of his 14 passes for 196 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 41 yards in the win.
On the ground, junior running back Will Mathews led the charge, scoring two touchdowns. Junior receiver Alfred Smith finished with two touchdowns and 83 yards receiving.
Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux finds it hard to find fault with his offense so far.
"Obviously, when you score 50 something points and your starters are out in the fourth quarter, you are happy," he said. "Donovan is throwing the ball well, the offensive line is playing well and the running backs and receivers are doing a good job. We are just clicking on offense."
But what made Robicheaux even happier was the performance of his defense, which improved tremendously from the first game to the second game. Defensive back Talvin Michael and defensive lineman Matt Gunter both recovered fumbles inside Helen Cox territory before the first quarter ended. Both turnovers resulted in Destrehan touchdowns.
In the second quarter, the Destrehan defense came through again with defensive lineman Glen Logan breaking through the line twice to record a sack and then a tackle for loss on fourth down. The Wildcats final score of the game began with a fumble recovery by defensive lineman Paul Songy.
"The defense stepped up last week and gave the offense the ball on a short field," Robicheaux said. "I saw a lot of improvement."
Still, Robicheaux said his squad had a few things to work on this week before taking on Dutchtown.
"We need to tackle better and breakdown on the ball carrier better," he said. "Offensively, we have hit some big plays but we didn’t run the ball up the middle well against Helen Cox. We have some good athletes on the perimeter and we are exploiting that now, but someone is going to take that away so we need to work on our short yardage."
On Friday, Destrehan will take on one of the most physical teams they will face this season. Dutchtown is 2-0 on the season with wins over Lutcher and Donaldsonville. Still, this is a very inexperienced Griffins squad.
They lost 43 seniors from last year and return just four starters. Dutchtown was decimated on defense, where not a single starter returns from 2012. Robicheaux said that doesn’t mean that Dutchtown is not talented on that side of the ball. The team has only allowed seven points in their first two games.
"They may have lost 11, but they are still a good, tough Dutchtown defense," Robicheaux said. "They reloaded and they have a defense that runs to the football well and their defensive linemen do a great job. Their linebackers may be a little undersized, but they run really well and do a good job in coverage."
Offensively, Dutchtown returns two special players in receiver Corey McBride and running back Torrance Mosley. Both players have committed to the University of Arkansas.
"They have an SEC running back and an SEC receiver. Plus, Dutchtown always has a strong, physical offensive line," Robicheaux said.
For Robicheaux, his defense must weather the relentless Griffin running attack in order to pull out a victory.
"The game will come down to whether we can be physical with them. Can our defensive line stay with their offensive line?" Robicheaux asked. "They pride themselves on running the football and they will try to blow us off the ball. If we can stand up to that, we can have success."
Destrehan and Dutchtown are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday at Dutchtown.
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