Destrehan awaits tough test in Central Lafourche

John Emery cuts upfield against East St. John.

Trojans slugged it out with ‘Cats in 2017

As Central Lafourche visits Destrehan for District 7-5A competition this Friday night, Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux wants to see his team lift its game once again to play to its full potential.

While crediting a talented and much improved East St. John team last week after a 35-34 nailbiter in Reserve, he had a clear message for his team: this is nothing to hang your heads over, but this team can play better.

“We know we’re going to get everyone’s best, and that’s because of the reputation we have,” Robicheaux said. “East St. John always seems to do a good job against us, and Central Lafourche does as well … it’s gonna be a big challenge for us Friday night.”

Coach Keith Menard’s Trojans gave Destrehan a tough game a year ago. This season, they will be riding high into Destrehan with a record of 5-1 (1-1 in district play), with wins over E.D. White, Carver, South Lafourche, Ellender and H.L. Bourgeois. Four of those five wins came by 16 points or more, and likewise the team has scored at least 31 points four times. But the Trojans’ lone loss was a lopsided one, a 31-0 defeat at home to the same East St. John team Destrehan (5-1, 3-0) squared off with last Friday night.

CLHS’ plan of attack comes down to ball control. The lynchpin of that plan is running back Deon Jenkins Jr., in his third year as starter for the Trojans.

“He’s their bell cow,” Robicheaux said. “He’s got a lot of experience and does a real good job for them. They bring in two tight ends, try and spread out your defensive line and run it inside. They control the ball and keep your offense on the sideline.”

He runs behind a strong offensive line that’s also buoyed by a talented tight end in 6-foot-3, 225 pound Jacob Wilcox.

“(Wilcox) is very good at tight end, and that’s nothing new. They seem like they always have one, that’s their pedigree,” Robicheaux said. “I hope our defensive line meets the challenge of a strong offensive line they’re bringing.”

Quarterback Jacob Barker keeps the chains moving by throwing to a stable of sure-handed receivers, like Wilcox and 6-foot-1 Jansen Folse. Receiver and kick returner Peyton Loredo provides a big play threat.

Central Lafourche is likewise strong on the defensive line, with six-foot-3 end Trevor Allemand among those who can create issues in the backfield.

The Trojans run a 3-3 stack defense, so Destrehan can expect to see pressure and a heavy dose of defensive backs.

“We’ll have to be patient,” Robicheaux said. “They come from all over, so we’ll have to pick it up and hopefully get the ball to our guys on the outside, where they can make plays.”

IN THE TRENCHES: Destrehan wasn’t boasting a great amount of experience in on its defensive line to begin the season, but the Wildcats indeed have found some playmakers.

Noah Taliancich (22 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks), Charles Oliver (24 tackles, 3 sacks, 3.5 for loss) and Xavier Shelby (19.5 tackles, 4 for loss, 1.5 sacks) have wreaked havoc up front for most of the season.

“It’s a different type of scheme,” Robicheaux said, alluding to the fact this is defensive coordinator Malter Scobel’s first year with the Wildcats. “Those guys have opportunities to make plays up front. In the 50 front we’ve traditionally run, (for the defensive linemen) it’s more about reading and reacting. This year we’ve been attacking and getting up field in our new scheme. They’ve been getting better each week.”

LAST SEASON: Central Lafourche was willing to give nothing easy at home. Destrehan battled to a 28-21 victory after falling behind 14-0. J.R. Blood’s third-quarter rushing touchdown proved to be the game winner. Alex Huszar provided a game-changing defensive play when his “pick six” interception for a score tied things at 14.

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