Destrehan bounces back in dominant effort, with lift from freshman starter

Kyle Edwards of Destrehan

Destrehan rolled to a 40-0 halftime lead Friday night as it bounced back from suffering its first loss of the season last week, defeating host H.L. Bourgeois 40-14.

The Wildcats jumped on the board on the night’s very first play when Kyle Edwards raced up the middle on the opening kickoff and found daylight, putting DHS ahead 7-0.

Early touchdown runs by Edwards and Razan Keller helped Destrehan quickly amass its lead. But the surprise of the night came from the Wildcats quarterback, both in who he was and how he played. Freshman Jai Eugene Jr. got the start in place of injured senior Damarius Jackson, who was limited by a sprained ankle all week.

While Eugene didn’t have to pass much, he was quite effective when he did throw, completing all of his attempts on the night. The son of former Destrehan and LSU star Jai Eugene, he showcased his promise for the future on Friday.

“Damarius has been dealing with the ankle all week, so Jai got the start and I’ll tell you, he did a tremendous job out there,” Robicheaux said. “For a kid that was an 8th grader not that long ago, to go out there and play the way he did … I’m not sure he had a bad play. Truly amazing job.”

On Edwards’ kickoff return, Robicheaux said the Wildcats saw an opportunity on film to perhaps spring a big play.

“We thought we’d have a chance to run one back up the middle … the kickoff team did a great job blocking and Kyle finished it off,” Robicheaux said.

The Wildcats’ defense shut down the Bourgeois offense for most of the night. The Braves were also dealing with an injury at quarterback and had their own freshman passer take the field. Jordan Rainey posted two scoring passes late in the game for Bourgeois (1-4, 0-2).

Destrehan (4-1, 1-0) entered the game as heavy favorites and played to the expected level. But for Robicheaux, the question was how he’d see his team fire back after last week’s loss to St. James. For many of the Wildcats, this is year one as a starter, so it was a chance to show resilience after a taste of adversity for the first time.

“The kids put in the work all week long and I was proud of the effort they put forth tonight,” Robicheaux said. “Not coming out as the winner last week was tough, but they handled it and played well tonight.”


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