Another game, another talented offense for Destrehan to defend
Destrehan struggled on both sides of the ball in their 48-10 loss to rival Hahnville, and things won't be any easier this week when the Wildcats travel to East St. John.
Destrehan entered the Hahnville game coming off their best win of the season - a 14-6 victory over Dutchtown that moved them to 1-0 in the district. And while the team gained confidence from that win, there was nothing they could do to shut down the Hahnville attack.
“We didn't play well on either side of the ball,” Wildcat head coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “A lot of that had to do with who we were playing, and they are definitely a better team than us - I just don't think they are 38 points better.”
Led by running back Alfred Blue, the Tigers immediately set the tone for the game early on, using a 12-play, 68-yard drive on their opening possession to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Blue would score three touchdowns on the night, while quarterback Brian Ensminger passed for two more.
“Once they got on a roll, we couldn't stop them,” Robicheaux said. “Offensively, you have to be able to score some points, and we weren't able to do that either.”
Destrehan will have to play much better on defense this week if they hope to shut down East St. John, who is putting up Hahnville-like numbers on offense. East St. John (6-1, No. 8 in the state) is averaging close to 34 points per game, and is just as effective on the ground as they are through the air.
“They have one of the better quarterbacks in the area, and they have a receiver that catches everything,” Robicheaux said. “This week doesn't get any easier for the Destrehan Wildcats, and we are going to have to play above ourselves if we want to win.”
East St. John quarterback Kalen Henderson is only completing 51 percent of his passes, but he has thrown for 1,232 yards this season and averages 176 yards a game through the air. His main target this year has been Dhaquille Williams, who has 31 catches for 809 yards.
East St. John's go-to back this season is Reynaldo Young, who has 898 yards on 90 carries and has scored eight touchdowns. However, Henderson can also move the ball on the ground, and has rushed 85 times for 401 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Defensively, East St. John has played well at times this year, but they do give up nearly 20 points per game. Lucas Martin leads the team in tackles with 35 solo and 12 assists, while James Champagne has three sacks.
“On defense, they send everybody,” Robicheaux said. “They line up in the gaps and just get pressure. We are going to need a big game from our offense.”
Making the game even more difficult will be the fact that the Wildcats will have to pull out a win on the road. This will be Destrehan's fourth trip outside the friendly confines of Wildcat Stadium in eight games.
“We are young and inexperienced, so going on the road has been tough,” Robicheaux said. “On the other hand, our biggest win of the year, over Dutchtown, came on the road.
“Playing in East St. John is tough, but hopefully we can get better every week, slip into the playoffs and make some noise.”
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