St. Charles Herald-Guide

High-powered Destrehan offense will be tested against speedy West Jeff

Jonathan Menard - September 5, 2013

The Destrehan offense put on a clinic in last weekís 35-13 win over Lutcher in the Ed Reed River Parishes Jamboree, but they will face their first real test of the season Friday night when they host West Jefferson at 7 p.m.

The Wildcats scored on their first four possessions of the jamboree, with quarterback Donovan Isom completing 16 of his 18 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Isom’s top target in the game, Newman transfer Kurk Merritt, caught two touchdowns of 60 and 28 yards. Fellow junior Alfred Smith scored on a 39-yard catch.

The Wildcats also had solid production in the ground game with junior Will Mathews rushing for 66 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said he couldn’t have asked for more from his offense.

"I was excited about our play. Anytime you have an offense that scores on the first four possessions, that’s pretty special," he said. "The timing was good between the quarterback and receivers and the offensive line did a tremendous job."

Isom, who is entering his second year as starter, has been poised in the pocket and has hit his receivers in stride in both the jamboree and an earlier scrimmage with Salmen.

"Donovan has been extremely accurate and is doing a good job for us," Robicheaux said. "I think the line’s success has really helped him and this year he has a lot of good receivers to throw to."

Destrehan’s upcoming opponent also had a memorable jamboree victory. Trailing by 20 points in the second half, West Jefferson came back to beat Brother Martin 23-20. Niquel Falkins sparked the comeback with an 89-yard kickoff return and then pulled his team even closer with a 21-yard touchdown catch. West Jeff defensive back Dexter Harris returned an interception 86 yards for another score and Falkins iced the win with a late interception.

Robicheaux said the jamboree showed just how explosive West Jeff can be.

"They are very athletic," he said. "Anytime you come back from 20 points, you are a good team. They are a young team, but they are playing well."

West Jefferson lost to Jesuit in the bi-district round of the playoffs last season, but only four starters return from that squad. One of those starters is quarterback Chavin Gougis, who averaged more than 200 yards per game last season. Robicheaux said Buccaneer defensive lineman Louis Wings could also cause some problems for his team.

Destrehan beat West Jefferson 22-12 last season and Robicheaux said his team will need a similar defensive effort to stop the Buccaneers this time around.

"We have to play solid defense and control the ball on offense," Robicheaux said. "If we do that, we should be successful."

Destrehan senior linebacker RaeJuan Marbley crushes a Lutcher ball carrier during his teamís 35-13 jamboree win.
Destrehan senior linebacker RaeJuan Marbley crushes a Lutcher ball carrier during his teamís 35-13 jamboree win.