A ramped up Slidell team was looking to kick-start a season with high expectations off with a big win over visiting Destrehan, but the Wildcats weathered an early Tiger surge to score 34 unanswered points en route to a 41-15 road victory.
John Emery rushed for more than 200 yards and scored three touchdowns while J.R. Blood tossed two touchdown passes to Joe Washington, adding up to a 1-0 start for the Wildcats.
“We made some mistakes early … it wasn’t Destrehan football, but our coaches did a tremendous job settling everyone down, and our kids went out there and made plays,” Robicheaux said. “Slidell’s got a very good football team with a lot of speed and a real good quarterback, so it’s exciting to travel there and get a win.”
Slidell led 8-0 and 15-7 in the first half on a night the school retired the jersey of former SHS great Brett Bech. A Blood to Washington touchdown pass cut that lead to 15-14, then Destrehan scored on an Emery run just before the end of the first half.
A big turn in the game happened in the third quarter when Destrehan sniffed out a Slidell fake punt and intercepted the ball, setting up a 13-yard Emery touchdown run to make it 27-15.
The next time Slidell (0-1) set up to punt the ball, Destrehan expected another fake. Instead, the ball was downed at the Wildcats’ 10. But Destrehan met the challenge, driving 90 yards and scoring on a 34-yard Blood to Washington touchdown.
“(That sequence) was the backbreaker,” Robicheaux said.
Emery added his third touchdown of the night to make it 41-15. His first score came in the first quarter, a 55-yard run.
Slidell scored on Jacob Guidry touchdown passes to Harlan Dixon (69 yards) and Brandynn Spann (12 yards).
The star of the night was Emery, who showed how hungry he was to return to the field after being sidelined for half of last season with a broken wrist.
“He was special tonight,” Robicheaux said. “He has such great vision. It was kinda tough running inside the tackles because of the sloppy conditions, but John is John. He was patient. He carries three or four guys on his back at times … he just really wants to see his team win.”