VICTORY

Destrehan rolls over Westgate, prepares for state title game


December 05, 2007 at 12:29 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

GOOD CATCH. Destrehan receiver and LSU signee Tim Molton catches a pass from fellow LSU signee Jordan Jefferson
during the first quarter of the Wildcats’ 59-7 rout of Westgate.
Photo by Jonathan Menard
GOOD CATCH. Destrehan receiver and LSU signee Tim Molton catches a pass from fellow LSU signee Jordan Jefferson during the first quarter of the Wildcats’ 59-7 rout of Westgate.
It only took Destrehan one quarter to lock up an appearance in the 2007 5A state championship game, as the Wildcats used 20 points in that frame, and 18 more in the second, to cruise to a 59-7 semifinal win over Westgate.

"We couldn't have played a better game offensively, defensively or on special teams," Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said. "We hit on all cylinders and I am just real excited about the way we are playing going into the big game."

Jerico Nelson got the 'Cats started off in the right way by exploding down field for 67 yards on his team's first play from scrimmage. Nelson would score shortly after, and Jordan Jefferson and Tim Molton made Westgate pay again with a 75-yard touchdown minutes later.

Destrehan's third touchdown of the quarter, which came on their next possession, seemed to drain the life out of Westgates' vaunted defense. Destrehan walked all over them for the next three quarters.

"We were real concerned about their front seven because they did a great job of pressuring the football throughout all the film we saw," Robicheaux said. "But our offensive line did a good job of blocking them and that allowed us to have success throwing the ball and running the ball. So, yeah we expected a little more of a test, but once we got on a roll, that helped us do what we needed to get done."

Destrehan rolled up 584 total yards of offense in the contest, with Jefferson finishing with 236 yards and two touchdowns and Molton grabbing six passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. Nelson, though, led the charge by racking up four touchdowns and rushing for 133 yards on only nine attempts. The senior also had one pass break up and six tackles on defense.

Many of Nelson's yards came while the playmaker was lined up at quarterback.

"We've done that before and we just let him run the ball and not have to worry about the handoff," Robicheaux said. "Obviously, that worked for us."

The stats for that talented trio are even more impressive because neither of them played much in the second half. Instead, Destrehan ran in several players throughout the third and fourth quarters. That gave the younger guys some experience while getting the starters some rest before Saturday's state championship game.

No one needed that rest more than the No.1 defensive unit, which has given up only a handful of points during the postseason.

"Our No. 1 defense has given up seven points the whole four games and that's unbelievable," Robicheaux said. "The twos came in and gave up some yards, but the most important thing was to get those guys work and keep our players healthy."

That defense will again be put to the test against Acadiana, which locked up an appearance in the state title game by way of a 37-18 win over John Ehret.

"They are a very good offensive football team and their quarterback is a college signee," Robicheaux said. "He does a great job running their offense and doing what they do. We're going to have to play real well to stop them."

To get past Ehret, the Rams relied on a talented backfield duo that includes John Dean and Dvan Alexander. Dean rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns against Ehret, while Alexander finished with 150 yards and two touchdowns.

"They run a ball control offense and it's a situation where they just keep the ball and keep it away from you," Robicheaux said. "Their lineman do a great job of coming off the ball and blocking you and our defensive line is going to be key this week."

Besides their powerful vear attack, the Rams also have the benefit of experience, since they are making their third straight trip to the 5A state championship. They lost to West Monroe 28-7 in 2005, but beat Sulphur 13-10 to claim last year's title.

"There is no doubt that that helps them," Robicheaux said. "Experience is the key and they've been there and know what it's about.

"Our team doesn't know what to expect, I don't know what to expect and I've been calling head coaches to find out what they did right and what they did wrong and the things they would change."

And of course it would be easy for Robicheaux and his team if all they had to worry about was the game against Acadiana. Unfortunately, there is all the festivity that goes with a state title and that leaves plenty of room for distractions.

"It's going to be crazy," Robicheaux said. "Friday we are going to go to the dome and just hope that the team can get focused on the game itself and know what's important this week. The state championship is not much fun if you don't win it."




View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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