Destrehan knows its opponent this Friday night, Terrebonne, quite well.
Last season, the teams squared off twice, both times Destrehan victories, both times in high stakes spots. The first was a District 7-5A championship game in Week 10, with both teams entering unbeaten in district play—and Terrebonne unbeaten overall at the time. The second came in the state quarterfinals. Both of those games came at Destrehan. This Friday, the Tigers play host to the action.
Terrebonne isn’t unbeaten this season, but several of the same key players remain. And as DHS coach Stephen Robicheaux points out, for not a few bounces against them over the past two weeks, Terrebonne could easily be boasting a 4-1 record like the Wildcats, as opposed to its 2-3 mark.
“They lost by a touchdown to Hahnville and lost by a touchdown to Thibodaux,” Robicheaux said. “And those teams are 5-0. Their other loss was to Jesuit. They’re a talented group and the ball just hasn’t seemed to bounce their way. They’ve had some injuries that have hurt them. But they score a lot of points … even in the losses, 28 against Hahnville, 28 against Thibodaux.”
One of those injuries, and perhaps chief among them, is to Ja’khi Douglas, Terrebonne’s quarterback, top playmaker and a Florida State commitment. He suffered an apparent shoulder injury against Hahnville two weeks ago, and primarily played at wide receiver against Thibodaux, but for a couple of snaps at quarterback where he didn’t throw the ball. As to his availability this Friday to be that passer, it’s anyone’s guess.
“We’ll prepare for him as quarterback and we’ll prepare for him at receiver. No matter where he lines up, he’s a threat,” Robicheaux said.
If Douglas lines up out wide, it’ll likely be Ryan Williams at quarterback, as it was last week. Wideout Jaylin Lucas is another key weapon, as is rusher Doniver Harris.
“You have to be concerned with the speed they have. They have it all over the field,” said Robicheaux.
Defensively, nose guard Maason Smith anchors the Terrebonne defense.
“There’s a reason he’s being recruited all over the country,” Robicheaux said.
Destrehan is also coming off of a game with a backup option at quarterback, as freshman Jai Eugene Jr. went a perfect 6-for-6 in his debut, starting for injured senior starter Damarius Jackson. Jackson missed the team’s win over H.L. Bourgeois with an ankle injury, but Robicheaux said Jackson stands a good chance to be cleared to play for Friday night.
“He practiced (Tuesday) and looked pretty good,” Robicheaux said. “We’ll see if he’s 100 percent. It’s a nice thing to know we have a guy like Jai as the No. 2 quarterback and that he’s ready to go, and we saw that last week. Hopefully we’ll get Damarius back and move on from there.”