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Improving defense makes Wildcats tough team to stop

Jonathan Menard -   Oct 17, 2013

The Destrehan defense held Thibodaux to less than 200 total yards in their 48-14 win last Friday.
The Destrehan defense held Thibodaux to less than 200 total yards in their 48-14 win last Friday.

After trailing for the first time all season, Destrehan responded with 41-straight points to knock off Thibodaux 48-14 last Friday. Now the Wildcats hope to pick up right where they left off when they host Central Lafourche.

The Wildcats (6-0, 3-0) have dominated each opponent they have faced this season, but found themselves down 14-7 heading into the second quarter against Thibodaux. Destrehan has too much firepower on offense and too much talent on defense to be kept down for long. Running back Will Mathews tied the game with a 10-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. Later in the quarter, quarterback Donovan Isom connected with Mathews on an 8-yard score to put the Wildcats on top 21-14 and then found Alfred Smith for a 16-yard score right before the end of the first half.

Destrehan cruised from that point on.

Though Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux would be happy if his team never trailed in a game again, he was pleased with how his squad responded after falling behind early.

"I guess it was a positive. It was the first time we had a little adversity," Robicheaux said. "I thought our kids came back and did what we had to do to get a win. If we are going to win a district championship, we can’t give teams points. But we did learn something and we got back on track to win."

After a slow start that included throwing his first interception of the season, Isom finished strong by throwing for 253 yards and five touchdowns. Mathews rushed for two touchdowns and caught two more, while receiver John Williams finished with 119 yards on three catches.

While the Destrehan offense has excelled each and every week, the defense has been quietly making a statement of their own. In back-to-back games, the Wildcats shut out Hahnville and then gave up only 197 yards of offense to Thibodaux.

"I think it’s a situation where our defense is getting better every week," Robicheaux said. "They know what they have to do and where they are supposed to be and now they are playing more aggressive. The kids on defense are flying around."

On Friday, Robicheaux and his squad will host a Central Lafourche team that has struggled this season. The Trojans won their first two games of the year but have lost three of their last four, including defeats to district opponents East St. John (48-14) and South Lafourche (35-14).

Central Lafourche hasn’t had a winning season since reaching the playoffs in 2009.

Robicheaux said that Central Lafourche runs a basic I-formation offense, but that they run it well.

"They are going to run at us and they have a couple of good backs," he said. "Their bread and butter is the I-formation and they are going to run a lot of counter and power. Our defense is going to have to go back to the basics and be ready."

On defense, Robicheaux said Central Lafourche will be aggressive.

"They are going to give us a five-man front and they blitz a lot, so blitz pickup will be big for us," he said. "They are going to play tough. They are always a tough group of kids."

However, the Wildcats have ridden their offensive and defensive lines to plenty of success, and if they are able to control the line of scrimmage it will be a long night for Central Lafourche.

Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Destrehan.

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