Destrehan must contain Thibodaux ground game to win
Linebackers Freddie Jackson (left) and Zack Agurcia (right) bring down a Helen Cox defender during Destrehanís 13-12 loss last week.
"It was really disappointing because we shot ourselves in the foot," Destrehan head coach Chris Stroud said. "When you lose by one point, you look back and see 12 different plays in the game where you could have won it."
Destrehan's offense struggled against Cox, with the team's first score coming with 25 seconds left in the first half.†That was when quarterback Taylor Dunn found sophomore Rickey Jefferson for a 62-yard touchdown that cut into the Cox lead 10-6.
However, in what would prove to be the Wildcatsí downfall, the extra point was missed. When the Wildcats took a 12-10 lead in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run by Kevin Smith, Helen Cox blocked the extra-point attempt.
Those two missed chances came back to haunt Destrehan as Cox nailed a 31-yard field goal with only four seconds left in the game.
"We had some problem in special teams," Stroud said. "I feel bad for the guys because they played hard all game long and that was a tough way to lose."
Even though Destrehan suffered the loss, Stroud did see some positives.
"Our offensive line blocked well in pass protection, and Taylor (Dunn) had the time he needed to complete passes," Stroud said. "The defense also played great the entire game until the last series. We had some penalties on both sides of the ball, but they are all things we can correct."
The Wildcats will get a chance to redeem themselves this Friday when they host Thibodaux.
The Tigers finished 8-5 last season, but lost the most important player on the team when Trevon Reed graduated. However, Thibodaux still has plenty of offensive weapons.
Last week, the Tigers beat McDonogh 35 50-44 after three overtimes.
Running back Joshua Johnson ran for 192 yards in that game, and stopping him will be Destrehan's top priority.
"He is a really good athlete," Stroud said. "He plays running back and they put him at quarterback in the Wildcat formation. The o-line blocking for him is really physical, so they run to set up the pass."
Stroud said that it will be up to his defensive line, which includes monster ends Bryan Singleton and Marrick Charles, to keep Johnson and the rest of the Tigers in check.
"The strength of our team is our run defense and the strength of Thibodaux's team is their running game," he said. "That's going to be a really good matchup."
On offense, Stroud was encouraged by how his team played in the second half of their loss to Helen Cox, but said that it will be crucial to get the running game going.
"We didn't run block well last week, and we are going to need to get better in that area," he said. "Our offense has to be more consistent than it has been."
Stroud said the Thibodaux defense is extremely quick, and is led by a talented linebacking corps and a physical secondary.
"We need to control the offensive tempo, get turnovers and play much better on special teams if we want to win," he said.
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As time ran down with under a minute left, the voices of the Destrehan fans rang into the night.