The Destrehan Wildcats remained undefeated at 7-0 as they trounced the Assumption Mustangs and their powerful offense last Friday. The 2-0 Wildcats, however, face perhaps their most difficult challenge yet tomorrow as they take on the West Jefferson Buccaneers on the Westbank.
The Wildcats had four turnovers last week against a Mustang team who could not capitalize on them. The Wildcat defense picked up the offense with six forced turnovers, but Destrehan will not be able to make so many mistakes against a West Jeff team that showed just how good they are last Friday with a pounding of Hahnville.
Granted, Hahnville has not been a powerhouse this year as in previous years, but to a Destrehan team that came away from St. James with a 10-6 victory after St. James defeated Hahnville in the jamboree, this should be the measuring stick that shows just how good of a team the Wildcats have.
The Buccaneers gained a lot of yardage on the Tigers in the air and on the ground. They have a great quarterback in Ryan Jackson who runs the double-slot option. Destrehan's defense is susceptible to the run, but Jackson will not have 256 yard passing, like he did against the Tigers, against a very good Wildcat secondary. The Wildcats will have to contain or at least slow down the running game to be successful. The Buccaneers are 4-3 with losses to Thibodaux and Karr, so they can be beaten.
It will be up to the Destrehan offense to showcase their talents against a West Jeff defense that has allowed an average of 20 points per game.
Last Friday, it was the Victorian, Nelson and Johnson show as each of those players scored two touchdowns for the Wildcats. Defensive back Joshua Victorian scored his two on a 92-yard interception return and a punt return. Running back Jerico Nelson pounded his two in on the ground while wide receiver Damaris Johnson caught both of his touchdowns, the last coming in dramatic fashion on a 57-yard pass.
Nelson led the team on the ground with 126 yards on 19 carries while Johnson led the receivers with four catches for 85 yards. Quarterback Ramal Ellis, in his second game filling in for injured starter Jordan Jefferson, showed the Wildcats that they may not be so bad off with a two touchdown performance. Although he threw three interceptions, Ellis completed 13 of 23 passes for 195 yards.
The game started out in wild fashion as three straight interceptions started the action. Destrehan defensive back Darrow Barnes started the chaos with a pick which was followed by an Assumption pick. Then, with the Mustangs driving deep in Wildcat territory, Victorian tipped a pass from James Landry up into the air, caught it and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown. The Ryan Rome extra point then put the Wildcats up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Assumption struck back and tied the game three minutes later with a Kasdan Oliver touchdown run.
But that was the closest the Mustangs would get as Destrehan took the lead back on their next possession with a 51-yard drive capped off by a two-yard Nelson touchdown run. The Rome extra point was good, giving Destrehan a 14-0 lead.
Victorian took the spotlight again on Assumption's next drive. After driving down inside the Wildcat 10-yard line, the Mustangs fumbled. Victorian then picked the ball up and returned it 32 yards to the Destrehan 43. The two teams then traded two more interceptions with Barnes returning one 32 yards for his second pick of the night.
The Wildcats were forced to punt on that possession, but punter Tim Molton helped the Wildcats score their next points with a 57-yard punt that was downed at the one-yard line. That pinned in the Mustangs and forced them to punt. Then, it was Victorian again who returned the punt 33 yards for another touchdown. The extra point was blocked, leaving Destrehan with a 20-7 lead with two and a half minutes left in the first half.
The Wildcat defense was able to force a three and out and the running and receiving of Nelson took care of the bulk of a 58-yard drive to end the half with a one-yard touchdown run. The Rome kick then gave Destrehan a 27-7 lead going into halftime.
The Mustangs stopped Destrehan's first drive of the third quarter with an interception. But the Wildcats were able to get the ball right back again on a 44-yard interception by defensive back Trey Watkins. That turnover led to a 30-yard field goal by Rome, giving the Wildcats a 30-7 lead.
After forcing a turnover on downs, the Wildcats then found the endzone again on a 22-yard Ellis to Johnson connection for a touchdown. The Rome extra point built the Destrehan lead up to 37-7 just minutes into the fourth quarter.
Assumption mustered up two straight scores after that with two touchdown runs from Oliver. The second came as a result of a Wildcat fumble.
However, the Wildcats were not done as Ellis found Johnson again on a 57-yard touchdown reception near the end of the fourth quarter, giving the Wildcats a 44-20 victory.