Wildcats will fine-tune offensive attack in jamboree against Lutcher

Game will begin at 7:30 p.m. at DHS

August 29, 2014 at 11:26 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Destrehan quarterback Marquise Darensbourg hands the ball to running back Will Matthews.
Destrehan quarterback Marquise Darensbourg hands the ball to running back Will Matthews.
The Destrehan Wildcats will get one final tune-up for the regular season when they host Lutcher in the Ed Reed Jamboree Friday night. If last week’s scrimmage was any indication, Destrehan fans will be treated to quite a show.

The Wildcats are loaded on both sides of the ball, but there was a question mark at the quarterback position. Former starter Donovan Isom is now tossing footballs in Utah and sophomore Marquise Darensbourg is tasked with replacing him.

In last week’s scrimmage against Salmen, Darensbourg was extremely efficient by connecting on 12 of his 15 passes for four touchdowns.

“I thought our quarterback threw the ball well and ran the offense with poise,” Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “It’s huge for him from a confidence standpoint. He made the right reads and didn’t try to force things. He got the ball in our playmakers’ hands.”

It doesn’t hurt that Darensbourg is surrounded by a bevy of offensive weapons. All five of the Wildcats top receivers are back from last year, including Kirk Merritt and Alfred Smith. Merritt has offers from almost every major program in the country while Smith has committed to Arizona State University.

Running backs Will Matthews and Karon Taylor also excelled against Salmen. Taylor finished with 64 yards on the ground while Matthews rushed for 43 yards.

Robicheaux said his offense’s success had a lot to do with the play of his o-line, which returns three of the unit’s five starters from last season.

Senior Louis Kieffer returns at right tackle while senior Kyle Weems is back at left guard. Ryant Price has plenty of experience at left tackle.

Senior right guard Elijah Duhe may not have started on the offensive line last year, but he was a key contributor on the defensive line in 2013. Senior Austin Abbate anchors the line at center.

“Our offensive line gave Marquise plenty of time and allowed the offense to execute well,” Robicheaux said. “We didn’t have a lot of penalties.”

Destrehan’s defense also came through with some big plays after allowing an early touchdown. Starting safety Brandon Scott led the charge, finishing with a safety and fumble recovery.

“After that early touchdown the defense shut Salmen down,” Robicheaux said. “I am really pleased with our progress. We just have to keep getting better every game.”

Destrehan’s first attempt to get better will take place Friday night against Lutcher. In last year’s jamboree, the Wildcat offense dominated Lutcher in every phase of the game on the way to a 35-13 victory.

Robicheaux said the jamboree serves as a dress rehearsal for the season and gives coaches one last opportunity to make sure players know where they are supposed to be in a game situation.

“We need to make sure guys are doing the things we need to do and make sure everyone understands what they need to do. We also have new coaches, so we get to see how they gel on the sidelines,” Robicheaux said.

Robicheaux will also be keeping a close eye on how his players react under the lights.

“It’s really the first live scrimmage as far as playing an opponent in front of a big crowd,” he said. “The kicking game is going to be big and we want to focus on the fundamentals.”

Robicheaux said that his players are looking forward to showing everyone the improvement they have made since last season.

“Obviously these guys have been working extremely hard during the spring and summer and now they get to play on their own field in front of the crowd,” he said. “They are going to be excited.”

The game between Destrehan and Lutcher is set to begin at around 7:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the Hahnville and Southern Lab game.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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Parish distributes over 250 Thanksgiving baskets to needy
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