Defense key in Wildcats jamboree against Lutcher
Wildcats battle Lutcher at 7:30 p.m. at DHS
Destrehan running back Kevin Smith breaks to the outside during a Wildcat practice on Monday.
"The defense was excellent," Destrehan head coach Chris Stroud said. "The kids were well-prepared by the defensive coaches and they were flying to the ball. We had one or two breakdowns, but that's something we expect this early."
The Wildcats are loaded on the defensive line this season and return a pair of big, three-year starters in seniors Marrick Charles and Bryan Singleton. Senior Dereck Robinson also made a big impression last year by recording 14 tackles for loss, four sacks and recovering three fumbles.
Destrehan's offense was also able to move the ball well throughout the scrimmage, scoring multiple touchdowns. Quarterback Dillan Dent was on target and Stroud said the offensive line opened up some holes for running backs Kevin Smith, Mark Trudeaux and Lou'Donovan Wells. All three of those backs played last year.
"Our O-line has improved," Stroud said. "We did have about four 3rd and 2 plays that we didn't convert on, so we are going to have to do a better job there."
Stroud said the entire team noticed the progress they have made from last season by getting the chance to go up against an opponent.
"They are working hard and they just have to understand that at this time of year we are looking for a little improvement every day. Sometimes they don't see it," he said. "They finally got to go against an opponent and now we know where we stand and what we need to work on.
"That has been a big advantage for us."
The Wildcats will host Lutcher at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 25 in two 15-minute halves. The Bulldogs have gotten the best of Destrehan for the last two years, beating the Wildcats 21-6 in 2009 and winning 20-7 last season.
But Stroud said his team can only focus on themselves.
"We have a tough opponent to play in Lutcher, but we've got to focus on ourselves and getting better," he said.
As for the benefit of playing in a jamboree, Stroud said it will give his players some much-needed experience while giving coaches a week to correct mistakes before the season starts.
"It gives you a game-like situation but it doesn't count so the kids can get the feel of the pressure of a game, but then you can correct the mistakes for that week one opponent," he said. "It's sort of a preseason game for you. We're ready to line up and play some games.”
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