Destrehan, Hahnville both take game on road
The Destrehan offense exploded for 28 points in the first half of last week's 35-14 homecoming victory over Terrebonne, but the Wildcats will need to show more consistency if they hope to stay undefeated with a win at Higgins Friday night.
"It was a tale of two halves," said Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux, whose team was outscored 14-7 in the second half against Terrebonne. "I think it was a situation where we went out and played about as good as you can play in the first half. We've got to learn to put people away and we didn't do that."
The Wildcats did indeed play about as well as any team could hope to in that first half. Only one minute and 37 seconds into the first quarter, Jordan Jefferson hooked up with Tim Molton to give Destrehan a 7-0 lead, with Joel Banks increasing the margin to 14-0 with a 27-yard touchdown run shortly after.
However, Terrebonne fought back in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns to cut the Destrehan lead to 28-14. It wasn't until Jerico Nelson sped around the corner for a 52-yard touchdown run that the Wildcats officially put the game away.
"In the first half, we got three turnovers and the offense was scoring and everything was how it was supposed to be," Robicheaux said. "In the three games we have played so far, we need to work on our consistency both offensively and defensively. Overall, your happy for the win because you have played three games and your 3-0 and that's important."
Destrehan's ability to string together a solid game on both sides of the ball will be a deciding factor in Friday's game against Higgins. The Hurricanes are loaded on the offensive and defensive lines, with several D-1 prospects lining up on both sides of the ball. Though Higgins dropped their first game of the season to Lutcher, they have used their size to their advantage the past two weeks, which lead to a 38-19 win over St. Charles Catholic and a 14-0 win over Bourgeois.
"They are big and physical and they have some good players, which should be a good test for us," Robicheaux said. "They match us well with speed and they are a good football team."
To counteract those strengths, Robicheaux says that the Wildcats will just have to play their style of football and stick to the fundamentals.
"We need to work on turnovers and penalties, and I think we are making too many mistakes, so that's one of the things we are focusing on this week," he said. "We just have to go out and play our game and if we do the things we are supposed to do then we should be ok."
Besides the size and speed of Higgins, another test for Destrehan will be having to hit the road for the first time this season. So far, the Wildcats have yet to venture from the friendly confines of their home stadium and have gone 3-0 during that period. However, Robicheaux doesn't think his team will have any trouble taking their game on the road.
"I think our kids will play well on the road," he said. "They are going to be excited to play on turf this week and I know they are going to be anxious to go out and do that."Hahnville hopes to avoid mistakes
Despite turning the ball over three times, the Hahnville Tigers cruised past Helen Cox 35-6 thanks to another shutdown performance by the defense and a 21-point fourth quarter that helped the squad ice the victory.
Now, Hahnville will hit the road for the first time all season in an attempt to stretch their season record to 4-0 with a win against O.P. Walker. That will not be an easy task.
"I think Walker has the best defensive line we have faced this year, so I think we need to concentrate on pass protection because they really bring a lot of heat," Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said. "They have a really good running back, a big, tall quarterback with a gun, and they have a couple of really good players in the secondary."
Though O.P. Walker may have a good defensive line, that unit will more than meet its match when it comes to Hahnville. The Tigers surrendered their first touchdown all season last week and managed to shut down the Cougars in the second half, which gave the offense, along with Ivory Washington, who had a 64-yard punt return, plenty of time to stretch the Tiger lead. Valdin knows his defense has been the team's strength all season, but he still felt they could have played better.
"I thought their performance was good, but I am a little disappointed that we gave up a couple big plays," he said. "Overall, I thought we played good again."
And while the defense has been grabbing all of the recent headlines, the offense has started to come along at the right time. Quarterback B.J. Young completed 10 of his 18 passes for 141 yards, while Greg Julien gained 135 yards on 27 carries. Lauren White added 72 yards on only six carries and Jai Steib ran for two touchdowns.
"We are getting a little bit better every week," Valdin said. "We are making improvements and offensively we did a much better job of running the football."
However, turnovers have caused the offense to be less explosive this season, and Valdin hopes that changes soon.
"The only one stopping our offense is us," he said. "If we don't turn the ball over, we can move the ball on anyone we play. We just need to have ball security, and I think if we have ball security we are going to be real good on offense."
The Tigers can't afford to have those turnovers Friday night. Walker is also 3-0 on the season and has not been tested yet this year. They opened the season with a 33-0 win over Clark then beat Mamou 53-0. Last week, they picked up a 27-7 victory over St. Augustine.
Besides having to face a talented Walker squad, Hahnville will also have to deal with Walker's rowdy fans, who are finally able to cheer their team on at home this year.
"Last year, Walker didn't have any home games, so we are playing at their house this year," Valdin said. "They are going to be real pumped up playing in their home stadium."
Though that might be the case, Valdin is confident in his team's ability to deal with that outside pressure.
"We went on the road for the jamboree, so I don't think it's going to be that big of a deal," he said. "The jamboree was a good experience. Going on the road and playing a tough team in St. James is something that will help us."
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