The Destrehan football team that took the field against West Jefferson Friday had little in common with the one that was blasted by Edna Karr a week ago.
This Wildcat football team flew around on defense, hassling West Jeff quarterback Dhavin Gougis Jr. all night long. On offense, Destrehan was able to run the ball well enough to set up the passing game in the second half, which led to a key touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
The result was a 22-12 Destrehan victory over West Jefferson, who went into the game as the fifth-ranked team in Class 5A.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats trailed the Buccaneers 12-7. But Rickey Jefferson, who had managed only a few yards on offense, ran a perfect route and made a diving catch at the 6-yard line on a pass from junior quarterback Donovan Isom. The 39-yard pass was the Wildcats biggest play of the night, and they made West Jeff pay a few plays later.
Sophomore running back Will Mathews ran hard up the middle to pick up five yards, and Isom carried the ball in himself a play later to give the Wildcats a 13-12 lead. While Isom cramped up on the play, backup quarterback Rashaud Joseph ran around the left to score a two-point conversion and put Destrehan up 15-12.
Destrehan would score again later in the quarter to assure Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux of the biggest win in his new tenure with the team.
While Destrehan scored late when it counted, West Jefferson took an early 7-0 lead to end the first quarter. The Wildcats tied the game in the second quarter after Isom rolled left and found senior running back Lou Donovan Wells. Wells caught the ball at the two and sprinted in for the score.
With three minutes left to go until the half, it seemed like Destrehan’s much maligned special teams play would cost the team. While punting from their own two-yard line, the ball was snapped over the head of punter Cameron Walsh. The ball sailed out of the end zone for a safety, which gave the Buccaneers a 9-7 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, West Jeff receiver Ronald Lewis returned the ball all the way to the Destrehan 34. But the Destrehan defense came up with a big stop and the Buccaneers had to settle for a 37-yard field goal to extend their lead to 12-7.
Neither team threatened again until the end of the third quarter. Destrehan’s defense held the Buccaneers and forced a punt with six minutes remaining, but the Wildcats were called for roughing the kicker, giving West Jefferson the ball on the Destrehan 35.
But sophomore Allen Pittman came up with a huge interception to end the West Jeff drives. Minutes later, the Wildcats would take the lead for good on Isom’s one-yard plunge.
Hahnville drops third straight as rushing defense continues to suffer
by Kyle Barnett
The St. Augustine Purple Knights handed the Hahnville Tigers their third straight loss to start off the season 0-3.
The Purple Knights (3-1) racked up 32 unanswered first half points on the Tigers beginning with a fumble recovery touchdown of a sack of quarterback Easton Melancon.
As they were last week the Tigers were again plagued by turnovers as, in addition to the fumble, Melancon threw two first half interceptions to Jermaine Roberts of the Purple Knights.
Even after the starting St. Augustine quarterback Toi Jackson went out the game with an injury the Purple Knights kept on racking up the touchdowns.
For most of the first half almost nothing went Hahnville’s way. At on point after Jackson’s injury backup quarterback threw a long pass that bounced off the hand of at least four players before being caught.
Highly touted tailback Leonard Fournette showed the Tigers why LSU offered him a scholarship after his freshman season. The big running back had long gains in both the rushing and receiving games and had two touchdowns on the ground and another on a catch and run. After leading the Purple Knights to a large lead Fournette sat out most of the second half.
Hahnville’s play was not all bad in the first half though. Running back Todge Scott took a swing pass fort a long gain into St. Augustine territory, but the Tigers were unable to convert. The defense blocked a point after attempt and got a couple of sacks including one by Juvon Murray to close out the half.
In the second half the Tigers gained momentum after Anthony Mott recovered a blocked field goal and returned it for a long touchdown.
After taking a few sacks in the first half Melacon returned from halftime with a wrapped ankle and Dylan Keller took a few snaps out of a wildcat formation.
A roughing the kicker penalty on St. Augustine turned into a scoring drive for the Tigers in the fourth quarter when Melancon was able to find Rickey Preston for a catch and run touchdown.
The Tigers seemed poised for a run at a late fourth quarter comeback after back to back scores. The defense added to that possibility by putting up a few stands that included tackles for loss by Gabe Taylor and Juvon Murray and a sack by Murray and Juvon Gales, but a roughing the kicker call on the a punt by Taylor sealed the game and St. Augustine, on the legs of their backup running back, made a number of first downs before downing the ball within the Tigers’ ten yard line to close the game out.
The Tigers next face McDonogh #35 (1-3) at home on Friday, Sept. 28.