Although the Destrehan Wildcats won their first district game on Friday and improved to 6-0 on the season, they lost a crucial piece of their offense on the first play of the game. After throwing an incomplete pass, quarterback Jordan Jefferson collided with an Ehret defender and broke his wrist. He then left the game and had surgery later on in the night. Head Coach Steve Robicheaux said that there is a possibility that Jefferson could return late in the season, but he is out for the foreseeable future.
Tomorrow, the Wildcats will take on their second district opponent, the Assumption Mustangs. This Assumption team is much better than the one the Wildcats saw last year on the road. Last year's team was the red-headed stepchild of the new district 5-5A. This year, they will give at least a couple of teams in the district a run for their money.
The Mustangs are 5-1 on the year, but most of those wins have come against opponents in lower classes. The only 5A opponent that Assumption has beaten this year is 1-5 Dutchtown. This past Friday, the 3-3 West Jeff Buccaneers toppled the Mustangs 42-25 in an offensive spectacle.
The Wildcats, however, have a better defense than the Buccaneers. And they will need good defense to stop Assumption quarterback James Landry and wide receiver Damien Jefferson. The pair combined for three touchdowns last Friday while Landry threw for over 300 yards. The Assumption offense is prone to turnovers, though, and Destrehan is very good at capitalizing on those.
"Assumption has a really good team this year and we are going to need to be ready to play on Friday," said Robicheaux. "Jefferson is as good a receiver as we've seen this year and Landry is a real good quarterback. They moved the ball well against us last year and scored a lot even in their losses this season. So we are going to have to be ready to play."
Without Jefferson, the Wildcats were missing a huge piece of their offense last Friday. However, backup quarterback Ramal Ellis came in and performed admirably in Jefferson's absence, leading Destrehan to a 28-14 victory over the John Ehret Patriots. He completed six passes for 95 yards and did not make any mistakes. The Wildcats had to rely on the running game more, and running back Jerico Nelson came through with three rushing touchdowns and 68 yards on 15 carries. The defense picked up some of the slack as well with a touchdown on a 78-yard fumble return by Trey Watkins and two other turnovers. "The defense has been giving up a lot of yards, but they have also been coming up with the big play. So as long as they are doing that, we'll be okay," said Robicheaux.
But the story of the night was Ellis. "For Ramal Ellis to come in having played in a JV game the night before and not having taken many reps with the first team, he did a great job out there," said Robicheaux. "This is a great opportunity for him."
Robicheaux also does not see the Wildcats changing offensive schemes because of Jefferson's injury. "Ellis knows the offense and we have an outstanding receiving corps
The first scoring of the game took place after John Ehret drove down to the Destrehan eight. The Wildcat defense held them and forced a turnover on downs. That opened the door for Nelson and Ellis. After two Nelson runs, Destrehan was facing a third and long. But Ellis found Lionel Washington for a 29-yard gain. Nelson took it the rest of the way, finishing with a 12-yard touchdown run. The Ryan Rome extra point gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with eight minutes left in the half.
The next Wildcat points resulted from an Ehret miscue. Punting deep in their own territory, the Patriot snap was muffed and the punter was brought down at the Ehret two. Then, just two Nelson rushes put the Wildcats up 14-0 after the Rome extra point at the end of the first half.
Ehret fought back early in the second half when Destrehan blocked a punt and the ball was recovered by a Patriot who ran for a first down. Quarterback Rico Jones then scampered 36 yards for the Patriots first touchdown.
The Wildcats responded quickly, taking their next drive 58 yards culminating in a six-yard Nelson run. The drive was spearheaded by an 18-yard pass to Washington and a 21-yard catch by wide receiver Damaris Johnson. After the Rome extra point, the Wildcats led 21-7 with two and a half minutes left in the third quarter.
The rest of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter consisted of some bizarre happenings. First, defensive back Joshua Victorian intercepted a pass and returned it 52 yards. However, he fumbled the ball at the end of the play and Ehret recovered. A few plays later, defensive back Antonio Parker sacked Jones and forced a fumble which was recovered by linebacker Chris Richard. Destrehan now had the ball at the Ehret 22-yard line. But, three plays into the drive, the Wildcats had four consecutive penalties which pushed them all the way back to their own 20.
Then on Ehret's next drive, the Jones was sacked again and this time Watkins recovered it and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown. The Rome extra point put the Wildcats ahead 28-7 with seven minutes left in the game.
Ehret would drive down and score once more to make it 28-14, but the Wildcats took the victory and start out district play with a 1-0 record and an overall record of 6-0.
|Running back Jerrico Nelson again helped the Wildcats have a dominating ground game, scoring three touchdowns and carrying for 68 yards.|