Charging ahead: Wildcats travel to Lutcher for jamboree

Destrehan attempts to avenge its 2015 jamboree loss to Lutcher Friday night as the Wildcats travel to face the Bulldogs in this year’s chapter of the annual exhibition, set to begin Friday night at 6 p.m.The jamboree has traditionally taken place at Destrehan but will be played at Lutcher this year as part of the newly named “Ed Reed/Jarvis Landry River Parishes Jamboree.” The event, has long sponsored and supported by Reed, a former NFL great and Destrehan alumnus. Now, Landry, a current Miami Dolphins star and former LSU and Lutcher great, joins Reed in support of the event. The two schools will now co-host the game from year to year.

Robicheaux credited Lutcher for always providing a solid test due to their coaching and perennially well-stocked talent base. This year will likely be no different: Lutcher hosts Friday night as the reigning Class 4A champion, a championship run that in part began with the Bulldogs’ 26-21 upset win over the Wildcats in last year’s jamboree.

Little did anyone know that the emotionally charged speech then-Lutcher coach Tim Detillier gave following the game would be one of his last at the team’s helm. Detillier stepped down after last season and has since been succeeded by former St. James coach Dwain Jenkins, a longtime Detillier protege and accomplished offensive architect.

Robicheaux the jamboree’s bottom line isn’t necessarily a win or a loss as it is a chance to prepare his team for the regular season grind, finalizing the Wildcats lineup and testing out the team’s less experienced players under the Friday night lights.

“We don’t put a lot into it as far as gameplanning. We’re focused, though, on going out and excuting well,” Robicheaux said. “On defense, we’re replacing nine and some of those positions still need answers. Hopefully we’ll see some kids go out there and provide those answers.”

Among the players Destrehan must attempt to slow down for Lutcher are quarterback Jontre Kirklin, a LSU commit and a run-pass threat, and wide receiver Al’Dontre Davis, who provides a big target downfield.

Destrehan has heard the questions, over and over, as to how the Wildcats would attempt to replace their stellar defensive line duo of Glen Logan and Gerald Wilbon, signees of LSU and Texas, respectively.

The Wildcats offered an early indication that they might just — once again — be just fine, putting together a dominating performance against visiting Salmen in a preseason scrimmage last Friday night. With the first teams playing most of the night for each team, Destrehan scored touchdowns on each of its first four possessions while the DHS defense recorded a shutout.

Destrehan defensive lineman Jaece Stroud was one of the night’s standouts, the lone returning starting defensive lineman. Stroud nodded and smiled a bit when asked if he and his fellow defensive linemen might just have a bit of a chip on their shoulder this season.

“Yeah, kinda,” Stroud admitted. “I was always the small guy (on the line with Logan and Wilbon). I’ve gotta play hard. Our defensive ends came out and did a good job. Our young ones did pretty well.  We all work hard to get better.

“I’m doing my part to try to teach the young ends,” he added. “I’m gonna keep them under my wing. Bryce Scioneaux and Jabriel Fields did a great job tonight and they’ll keep improving.”

Destrehan scored nine total touchdowns, three of those coming in redzone drills and the other six in live play. The format of the scrimmage saw each team take a designated number of possessions on offense against the other.

“Obviously, you like to see the intensity,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “Our kids  played real hard. You want to see how your kids react against another opponent, and we played hard and flew around defensively. I think our offensive line dominated tonight. Our kids executed, opened holes and protected (quarterback) Kohen (Granier).”

On Destrehan’s second play of the scrimmage, Granier dialed up a deep ball to Quinton Torbor, who rolled to a 68 yard touchdown to give Destrehan the 7-0 lead in the unofficial scrimmage.

On the first play of the team’s second drive, it was running back Kristian Mosely breaking through and away from the defense, scoring from 70 yards out.

Granier found Carl Lewis for a score to make it 21-0, then Mosely  broke loose for his second score of the day, this one a 45-yarder.

Granier added a 20-yard touchdown pass to C.B. Anderson later in the scrimmage. Carson Rieder connected with Joshua Schiro to round out the DHS scoring in regular play.

Salmen’s best chance to score in regular play came on a reverse, but the Wildcats stopped the near-touchdown inside the 5 and then held for a goalline stand.

The Destrehan offense was already expected to fire on all cylinders again this year. But with his defense replacing nine players from last year, Robicheaux could be nothing but pleased with the level of play on that side of the ball. 

“These guys fought hard the entire night. I thought that was an incredible effort when their guy broke that long run and we kept him out endzone,” Robicheaux said. “That shows us something about our kids and their character.”

In redzone drills, Justin Jefferson and Chancey Cothren each hauled in scoring passes from Granier, while Mosley and John Emery also scored on the ground.

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