Wildcats must control line of scrimmage to remain perfect
Destrehan senior linebacker RaeJuan Marbley returns an interception for a touchdown in his team’s win over Hahnville.
Though his team is off to an impressive 5-0 start and has scored at least 42 points in every game, Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux is reluctant to compare this squad to his state championship teams from 2007 and 2008.
"In 2007 we had a great offense and a lot of talented juniors on defense. In 2008 we won the title with our defense, so you can’t compare this team to those teams now," Robicheaux said. "I think this is a good football team and we will get better. We’ve played five games and we are right where we want to be."
The Wildcats scored four touchdowns in the first quarter against Hahnville, with all of those scores coming off the right arm of quarterback Donovan Isom. Isom found Kirk Merritt for a 50-yard score and then hit sophomore receiver John Williams for an 11-yard touchdown. Isom followed that up with a 15-yard scoring strike to Alfred Smith and a 50-yard touchdown pass to Williams.
Robicheaux said his team was firing on all cylinders against the Tigers and he was happy to get the annual rivalry game out of the way.
"Sometimes you just get on a roll and that’s what happened to us Friday," he said. "With rivalry games, you never know what’s going to happen. We are excited to get this one done early so we are not stressing about it throughout the season. It was a good win for us."
Destrehan will try to remain perfect Friday when they host Thibodaux. It will be the Wildcats first home game in three weeks, so the crowd should help energize the Destrehan defense as they try to stop Thibodaux’s Donta Johnson.
Johnson, who plays both running back and quarterback, has been electrifying this season and was hurt in his team’s second loss of the year, a 27-24 defeat in overtime dealt by Hahnville. But Johnson sat out last week in order to completely recover from his injury. His team still beat H.L. Bourgeois 49-6 without him.
"He’s a man. He sat out last week to get well and he will be ready to face us," Robicheaux said of Johnson. "We have to gang tackle like we did against Hahnville and get everybody to the football and try to contain him. He can take it the distance on any play and we have to keep him from making that big play and hit him as many times as we can."
The Tigers also have two talented receivers in Jason Richard and Deandre Pharagood. Richard had 598 yards receiving last season.
"They have really good receivers that are good athletes and they have three running backs that can all go," Robicheaux said. "It’s going to come down to us controlling the line of scrimmage."
The Thibodaux defense is led by linebacker Jake Bergeron, who recorded 66 tackles last season. Overall, the defense returns five starters from last year.
"They are athletic in the secondary, their linebackers play fast and they have some good players on the defensive line," Robicheaux said. "We have to control the offensive line and be able to run the ball. Whenever we can run the ball we will have success because it opens up the passing game."
Destrehan will host Thibodaux Friday. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
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