Destrehan Offensive Player of the Year: J.R. Blood, junior quarterback. Blood captured the imagination of Wildcat fans in 2016 when, as a sophomore he put together a strong half-season in relief of injured starter Kohen Granier. That included a win over Hahnville that saw Blood thrust into action at halftime and asked to lead a game-winning drive, which he did.
Blood’s junior season saw him complete 135 of 232 pass attempts (58 percent) for 1,809 yards, with 21 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 277 yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries.
All of it came while directing an offense that suffered several key injuries, including the loss of standout rusher John Emery for nearly half the season.
“He did a good job for us,” said Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux. “For the first time in awhile, we had a few injuries on offense. Our offense had to switch identities a bit. He ran the ball for us when we lost (tailbacks Emery and Kyle Edwards), and once we did that he was very effective. He’s intelligent, works really hard at the craft, puts in the time in film study … he’s going to be a really good player for us.”
Blood threw a season-high five touchdown passes against H.L. Bourgeois in district play. His most notable play of the season, however, likely came in an overtime victory against East St. John, where he connected with tight end Carson Rieder for a game-winning touchdown pass.
Robicheaux believes his passer will only get better by the time the 2018 season is underway.
“He grew up as the year went on for us,” Robicheaux said. “He came in with great expectations on him. The way he throws the ball, he can make all the throws. I think he’ll be a lot more comfortable in the offense, settle in and be real effective for us.”