Sophomore QB handed reins of high-powered DHS offense

August 15, 2014 at 10:10 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Destrehan sophomore quarterback Marquise Darensbourg gets off a pass while under pressure from defensive lineman Michael Ceaser during Monday’s practice. Darensbourg was recently named the team’s starter at quarterback.
Destrehan sophomore quarterback Marquise Darensbourg gets off a pass while under pressure from defensive lineman Michael Ceaser during Monday’s practice. Darensbourg was recently named the team’s starter at quarterback.
After a heated battle that lasted through the spring and summer, Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux has finally settled on his starting quarterback.

Sophomore Marquise Darensbourg was given the nod after going toe-to-toe with junior Will Sirmon. Robicheaux said Darensbourg’s progress during the summer sealed the deal.

“The only concern we had was that he is only a sophomore, but we feel like he has come a long way during the summer and he does a good job of reading defenses,” Robicheaux said. “With his athleticism and knowledge of the offense, we think he gives us the best opportunity to win.”

Darensbourg has some big shoes to fill. Donovan Isom, who is now playing for the University of Utah, led the Wildcats to the Class 5A state semifinals last season. Isom completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,653 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also rushed for 530 yards and nine touchdowns on 82 carries.But Darensbourg will have plenty of talented players around him who will ease his transition into the starting role.

“Marquise doesn’t have to be great for us, he just has to manage the game,” Robicheaux said.

Darensbourg will lead an offense that returns eight starters from last year, including the entire receiving corps. The talent at the skill positions was apparent when the Wildcats practiced in shells for the first time on Monday.

Leading the charge is senior receiver Kirk Merritt, who recently won a national championship in a skills competition where he competed against the top high school football players in the country. Merritt currently has offers from some of the top college programs across the nation including LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Oregon and Texas A&M.

Alfred Smith, a shifty senior receiver, has already committed to Arizona State University. He led the Wildcats in receiving last year with 54 catches for 872 yards. Junior receivers John Williams and Tramaine Armstrong also return after stellar sophomore seasons. Williams had 35 catches for 571 yards while Armstrong finished with 19 catches and nine touchdowns.

Destrehan also returns three of their five offensive lineman from last season along with running backs Will Matthews and Karon Taylor. Matthews rushed for 1,384 yards and scored 21 touchdowns in 2013 while Taylor finished with 198 yards on 25 carries.

Robicheaux has been impressed by his offense in practice, but the defense has been just as good.

Junior Glen Logan (6-foot-4, 290 pounds) anchors the defensive line and has already received scholarship offers from LSU, Texas A&M, Arizona State and Nebraska. As a sophomore, he finished with 66 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and five sacks.

“He could be one of the better linemen in the state coming out his senior year,” Robicheaux said.

Destrehan also returns Ed Leonard, who recorded 41 tackles last year and will start at defensive end. Two of the four linebackers from last year are back as are three of the four members of the secondary.

Robicheaux feels good about how his team stacks up this season, as long as they get good leadership from their seniors.

“As much talent as you have, you are only as good as your leadership, so that will be key,” Robicheaux said. “I think we have some good leaders, so we are excited about the possibility of the season. We will just take it one game at a time and see what happens.”

Destrehan will scrimmage against Salmen on Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. at home. They will have one final tune up for the season during the Ed Reed Jamboree, which will take place at Destrehan at 6 p.m. on Aug. 29.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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Sheriff's Office investigating Destrehan homicide
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