St. Charles Herald-Guide

Destrehan faces first test of season

Jonathan Menard - September 6, 2007

Destrehan opened the 2007 season in impressive fashion last week, thumping Karr 31-0 behind solid play from both their offense and defense.

Now though, both sides of the ball will be faced with a much tougher test when the Wildcats host St. James Friday night.

"They are probably the fastest team we are going to play," Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said. "They do a great job of running the football on offense, and defensively, they come after you with a lot of speed."

That team speed alone should assure that the match-up will be worth the price of admission. Destrehan and St. James have taken part in some close contest over the last two years, with the Wildcats gaining the upper hand both times. Two years ago, Destrehan had to score on the second to last play of the game for the victory, while last year, they held on in a 10-6 defensive slugfest. This season, St. James will bring an even more experienced squad into St. Charles Parish.

"This year, their good players are all seniors, so this is their year," Robicheaux said. "It ought to be a good game."

While St. James may have a talented squad, Destrehan is loaded as well. In last week's opening season victory, senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson accounted for 165 yards through the air with one touchdown. Fellow seniors Damaris Johnson, who caught the touchdown pass, and Tim Molton, who had three receptions for 45 yards, also did a good job of spreading the field. That left plenty of running room for backs Jerico Nelson and Joel Banks. Both players averaged over five-yards a carry, with Banks netting two scores.

"I thought we ran the ball well and had an equal balance between the running game and the passing game," Robicheaux said. "Whenever you get that, you're pretty happy. I thought we moved the ball when we needed to and defensively we played well and stopped them when we had to."

That success had a lot to do with the play of the entire team.

"I thought it was a total team effort," Robicheaux said. "We ran the ball decent, we threw the ball decent, and I thought our offensive line did a good job of protecting the quarterback. Defensively, we had a couple of breakdowns, but when you hold a team like Karr to no points, then we are happy with that."

And though the Wildcats were able to cruise to an easy win, there is still plenty of work to do as the team prepares for St. James.

"After watching film, you can see that we made some mistakes, but we can correct them," Robicheaux said. "I thought we had too many penalties, offside penalties, and things like that. Those things can be corrected and I think the condition of the field had a little bit to do with that.

"We just need to be sharper and make sure to do a better job with penalties."

Another thing the Wildcats will have to contend with is their placement in a new district for the third time in five years. This year, Destrehan will take on not only Hahnville and East St. John, but must also face Dutchtown, St. Amant, and East Ascension.

"We are excited to be in this district," Robicheaux said. "Anytime you take Hahnville, Destrehan, and East St. John and you put them in any district; it's going to be good. Dutchtown, St. Amant, and East Ascension all are good and have a lot of tradition, so it's going to be a good district."

However, before Destrehan can even begin to worry about those programs, they must first settle the score with St. James.

"We are just going to have to play well," Robicheaux said. "There is no doubt that we are going to have to have a great week of practice and focus on what we are doing. We are going to have to be real disciplined on defense and stop their playmakers."

Destrehan faces first test of season
Photo by Jonathan Menard