The Destrehan offense couldn’t have gotten off to a better start in the season opener, scoring on all seven of their possessions in the first half in a 54-22 win over West Jefferson. Now, Wildcat head coach Stephen Robicheaux just hopes his squad’s offensive success continues when Destrehan hosts Helen Cox at 7 p.m. this Friday.
"The offense is fun to watch and they have been pretty impressive," Robicheaux said. "It can turn on you, but if we keep working hard and doing the things we need to do, we hope it can continue."
Leading the charge for Destrehan last Friday was quarterback Donovan Isom, who completed 12 of his 13 passes for 255 yards and five touchdowns through the air. Isom also scored on a 16-yard run. The Wildcat receivers were also impressive with Kurk Merritt, John Williams, Tramaine Armstrong and Karon Taylor all catching touchdown passes.
Junior receiver Alfred Smith had several nice grabs in the win and running back Will Mathews rushed for more than 100 yards.
With the offense clicking on all cylinders, Robicheaux gave most of the credit to his offensive line.
"The biggest thing when your quarterback throws five touchdowns and runs for another and you have a running back that rushes for more than 100 yards, the people probably playing the best are the offensive line," he said. "They have come together and are playing well."
Robicheaux said that the offense spent so much time working on their precision during the summer that they look to be in mid-season form.
While Destrehan’s offense got all the attention in the opening week, the defense did well against a talented West Jefferson offense. However, Robicheaux said there is room for improvement on that side of the ball.
"Mainly our kids on defense have to realize where they need to fit," he said. "West Jeff had three good athletes on offense that are dangerous when they get the ball in space. We had two busted plays and a big penalty that extended drives and you can’t have that. I think our defense is pretty good, but we need to stop giving up big plays in order to be successful."
The Destrehan defense will have to get things together quickly before taking on the most athletic quarterback they will face this season.
Helen Cox quarterback Dion Ray has been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash and has been successful in the passing game. He has two receivers back from last year – Reco Parker and Mandrake Ozon.
"Helen Cox has a quarterback that is phenomenal," Robicheaux said. "Where he is real good is when he gets forced out of the pocket. He has receivers that can go get it and they come back to him and get open when he is in trouble. The big thing we are going to have to do is keep him contained in the pocket.
"He is a good of a quarterback as we are going to face as far as mobility is concerned."
Helen Cox returns four starters on the offensive line, and Robicheaux said it will be the biggest line that his team will face this year. Two of Cox’s lineman, Justin Moore and Greg Cook, weigh more than 300 pounds.
"Their offensive line looks like an SEC offensive line," Robicheaux said.
If the Wildcats are able to keep Ray under control, the Destrehan offense should be able to have a lot of success against the Helen Cox defense.
Helen Cox returns five starters from last season on that side of the ball, but defense was one of the main reasons the team finished with only one win in 2012. Still, Robicheaux is concerned about Helen Cox’s size up front.
"They run a 4-2-5 on defense and their size does concern me," he said. "Hopefully we can get them blocked and get our receivers open. We need to control the line of scrimmage and hopefully our up-tempo offense will tire their guys out late."
|Destrehan running back Will Mathews rushed for 111 yards in the Wildcats big win on Friday.|