All season long, Destrehan has been a strong football team in the second half, but the Wildcats failed to hang on to a 34-21 lead with only six minutes left in a stunning loss to East St. John last week.
"I thought it was a terrible performance," Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said. "We had a chance to go up 35-14, but that didnít happen. (East St. John) made the plays when they had to and I was real disappointed."
Destrehan entered the game with a 2-0 district record and controlled their own destiny towards a district championship and playoff appearance.
"A win there would have set us up for the playoffs but now our backs are against the wall," Robicheaux said. "Thatís on coaching. So many things went wrong."
Destrehan took a 34-21 lead on a 68-yard kickoff return by cornerback Denzell Arceneaux. However, East St. John marched right down the field to cut the lead to 34-28. On the ensuing kickoff, the Wildcats fumbled the ball and East St. John made quick work of a short field to clinch a 35-34 win.
While the loss means that Destrehan will have to beat both Bonnabel and Hahnville to claim a share of the district title, Robicheaux said the teamís goals are all still intact.
"We talked to them about still being able to win district, still being able to make the playoffs," he said.
Destrehan must rebound against Bonnabel on Thursday night. The Bruins, who won their first district game over winless John Ehret last week, actually trailed in that game 14-0.
In the second half, Bonnabel exploded for three touchdowns, including a 90-yard kickoff return by senior Joe Este. Jesse Smith, the Bruins freshman quarterback, threw for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
"Bonnabel is pretty good offensively," Robicheaux said. "They are throwing the ball a lot more now than they were earlier in the season and they have a lot of speed."
The Bruins are also solid on defense, with cornerback Darius Dixon leading the attack.
"Their defense is comparable to a lot of teams we have played this season," Robicheaux said. "Darius Dixon makes some plays and they have a good player in the middle. If we let them hang around they have enough talent to beat us."
Robicheaux said the key to the game will be whether or not the Wildcats can control the line of scrimmage, something they have been able to do for most of the season.
He said his team will also need to "come to play," and he doesnít think his squad will let the effects of last weekís loss linger.
"I think we have a chance to get back to it and get after it," Robicheaux said. "The kids always bounce back."
Kickoff is scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Muss Bertolino Stadium in Kenner. The stadium is located at 620 W. Esplanade Ave.
|Destrehan junior receiver Michael Smith has been a huge weapon for the Wildcats in their passing game. He scored two touchdowns last week.|