High school football coaches love routine, but because of Hurricane Isaac, Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux was thrown out of his with the cancellation of last week’s game against South Lafourche.
"We are just now trying to get the kids back and focused," he said. "We had practice yesterday (Monday) and only 60 out of our 90 players were there. The main thing we are concerned about right now is the kids."
The last time we saw those kids they got off to a fast start in the jamboree game against Lutcher two weeks ago. Running back Lou’Donovan Wells began the game by breaking loose for a 60-yard touchdown on the first play.
But the Destrehan offense never took off after that point with two big fumbles killing momentum and leading to a 23-13 loss to Lutcher.
"It’s all about the turnovers and those two big turnovers really hurt us," Robicheaux said.
After Wells’ big run, the Destrehan offense stalled for the rest of the first half. While the defense did slow Lutcher, the Bulldogs took the lead after a 12-play, 51-yard drive. Quarterback Ruston Matherne scored on a 6-yard run and made the two-point conversion to put Lutcher up 8-7.
The Wildcats’ defense helped the team regain the lead after Raekwon Morgan recovered a Lutcher fumble at the 27-yard line. Destrehan running back Will Mathews moved his team closer to the goal line with a 14-yard run and Wells added his second touchdown soon after with a 1-yard plunge.
After that it was all Lutcher. Matherne gave his team the advantage with a 22-yard touchdown pass to put the Bulldogs up 16-13. Matherne connected with Spencer Roussel on a 19-yard score to give Lutcher the 23-13 win.
Despite the score, Robicheaux felt that the Wildcat offense performed well.
"I thought we moved the ball well, but we did drop some key passes," he said. "Our biggest question mark coming into the season though was the offensive line and I thought they played really well. This was a measuring stick of where we are at this point in the season, and if we can get good line play we will be a good team."
On defense, Robicheaux said that the Wildcats will make some changes to the scheme before the season, but he was impressed with the effort.
"The kids really flew around and I was excited about that," he said. "We’ve got a chance to be a good team."
The Wildcats will get to show just how good they can be on Friday when they travel to St. James. St. James struggled in their jamboree against Hahnville, falling 37-0. Despite that showing, Robicheaux feels that St. James is a better team than the score indicates.
"They are very athletic on offense. They are in a new offense and I think they will get better every week," he said. "Their running back is real fast and their quarterback does a decent job of throwing the ball.
"This is a situation where we will see how our athletes match up with theirs."
Robicheaux said that St. James is also athletic on defense. While Hahnville had success on the ground against St. James, Robicheaux said his squad will try to beat them through the air.
"It’s going to be a matchup between their athletic defensive backs and our receivers," he said.
But the fact that the team had to take a week off from practice due to the storm could cause problems.
"It’s not good. You key up and play a jamboree and then you have to take a week off," Robicheaux said. "Our main concern is making sure everyone is safe, but to have an off week at that point in the season is really detrimental."