Destrehan hopes to run wild in rivalry game against Hahnville

Coach wants to limit distractions


October 03, 2013 at 9:46 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Destrehan receiver Alfred Smith shrugs off a tackle and goes in for the score against Terrebonne.
Destrehan receiver Alfred Smith shrugs off a tackle and goes in for the score against Terrebonne.
Destrehan has scored 196 points in their first four games on the way to a perfect start, but their high-powered offense will be tested when they face rival Hahnville, whose defense is giving up just 12 points a game.

The Wildcats rolled all over Terrebonne 42-17 last week to claim their first district win of the season. Film of that game has to be giving Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin fits due to Destrehan’s ability to score on the ground and through the air. Destrehan junior running back Will Mathews rushed for 153 yards and four touchdowns last week, while quarterback Donovan Isom completed 11 of his 19 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

"I thought we played well. When you run for close to 200 and pass for over 200, you are excited," Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said. "Will ran well, the offensive line did a good job and Donovan threw well. I was pleased with what we did."

Destrehan’s defense also limited dangerous Terrebonne quarterback Colby Stewart to a single touchdown. Terrebonne had entered the game averaging more than 42 points per game, but Destrehan held the Tigers to only 17.

"We knew they had one of the best offensive lines we have faced because they are all seniors," Robicheaux said. "Their quarterback was gritty and we gave up some yardage, but we made some stops when we needed to."

The only downside to the win was that the Wildcats had 60 yards in penalties.

"That was uncharacteristic of us," Robicheaux said. "I don’t want to comment too much on that, but I thought that is something that we need to get fixed."

Hahnville enters the Destrehan game with a 2-2 record, but the Tigers are just a few plays away from being undefeated. They lost a heartbreaker to Rummel when the Raiders scored with under a minute left to take a 7-5 victory. A week later, they lost to Landry-Walker in overtime.

Hahnville is coming off of their best offensive performance in a 27-24 overtime win against Thibodaux and Robicheaux knows exactly what the Tigers are going to try to do against his defense.

"It doesn’t take a genius to know that Hahnville is going to run the football," he said. "They are going to run with (Lynn) Simmons, bring in (Todge) Scott and pound you behind their good offensive line. They will also try to get the ball into (Ricky) Preston’s hands. They are going to pound it out and they do a good job of that."

Though the Tigers focused on the ground game in their win over Terrebonne, with running back Lynn Simmons rushing for 223 yards, Hahnville tied the game at the end of regulation when quarterback Logan Martindale found receiver Ricky Preston for a 19-yard score.

Though Robicheaux knows that the Hahnville offense is capable of controlling the ball and keeping his offense off the field, it’s the Hahnville defense that really worries him. In their first two games of the season, the Tigers gave up just 14 total points.

They also gave up a single touchdown in regulation in their overtime loss to Landry-Walker.

The Tigers experienced secondary is a big reason why the defensive line is able to get a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

"Their defensive line is stout, quick and they do a good job of plugging holes," Robicheaux said. "Their linebackers also do a good job, but the biggest part is their secondary, led by Jamal Smith. They are able to do a lot of things that other teams can’t do, like play a lot of man to man. We haven’t seen that a lot this season."

But just because Hahnville will throw a different defensive scheme at the Wildcats doesn’t mean Robicheaux plans on straying from what has made his offense successful.

"We are going to have to continue doing what we do," he said. "We have to try to calm that defensive line, keep them from making big plays and run the football if we can. The key is that we have to be able to run the football."

While the annual rivalry brings a lot of excitement to the St. Charles community, Robicheaux will be glad when it’s over due to the shenanigans that typically occur this week.

"It’s a big rivalry and it’s fun for the kids, you newspaper guys and the community, but it’s not too much fun for the coaches," he said. "Going against a great program is fun for us, but all the distractions that come with it are not. We talk about it with our kids and tell them the most important thing is the game, it’s not how many rolls of toilet paper you can throw."

Destrehan and Hahnville will face off at Hahnville High School on Friday. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m.




View other articles written By Jonathan Menard

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