After two straight losses, and three in the last four games, Destrehan badly needed a win in a tough spot Saturday night: at a strong Thibodaux team projecting as a top 10 seed in the Class 5A playoffs.
Kyle Edwards and his teammates answered the ball.
The Alabama committed rusher tallied 220 yards and five touchdowns, while teammate Razan Keller topped 100 yards and scored twice in Destrehan’s 49-21 District 7-5A victory in Thibodaux.
The game was moved one day later from its scheduled Friday night start time due to weather brought on by Tropical Storm Olga.
“We bounced back from some adversity and got a big win that we needed,” said Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux. “We went out to a tough place to play and win and our kids played extremely well.”
Destrehan (5-3, 2-2) topped 300 yards rushing after making some adjustments on the offensive side of the ball, Robicheaux noting the DHS staff moved some defensive players over to help out on the line and at tight end.
“We thought we could spread them out and run the ball. Kyle had a big day, Razan had a big day,” Robicheaux said. “We were able to control the ball, but as much as that, we were able to keep (Thibodaux passer Luke) Alleman off the field. He’s probably one of the best quarterbacks we’ll see all year, and he was a big concern.”
Alleman completed 17 of 28 attempts for 200 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Destrehan held the Thibodaux running game to just 32 yards.
While the running game dominated, one of the most encouraging developments for the Wildcats is the apparent return of senior quarterback Damarius Jackson to ideal health. Jackson completed 8 of 10 passes for 160 yards and also factored into the running game. Jackson had missed time and been limited in his on-field action by an ankle injury over the past month.
Edwards got Destrehan started by scoring his first touchdown of the night late in the first quarter, taking a 7-0 lead. The Wildcats took more firm control in the second quarter on the back of two scoring runs by Edwards and one by Keller. DHS led 28-7 at halftime.
Thibodaux cut into that lead early in the second half, making it 28-14 on an Alleman pass to Kyren Lacy. But Destrehan scored 21 unanswered from there to put the Tigers away, holding Thibodaux (6-2, 2-2) to its second lowest point total of the season in the process. Jaden Harding helped in that regard, intercepting two passes to short circuit THS drives.
The Wildcats coming up big in what was close to a must-win spot is something Robicheaux sees as a potential jumping off point.
“I think it’s gonna help us big time,” Robicheaux said. “In at least two of those three losses, we had our chances. We put a full game together tonight. Hopefully, we’ll build on this win, hope to win out and carry some real momentum into the playoffs.”