Destrehan’s home clash with Terrebonne was highlighted as perhaps the biggest of Week 10, with two top six ranked teams squaring off to settle the District 7-5A championship. The Wildcats were more than up for that challenge, turning the showdown into their own masterpiece in a virtually flawless 49-20 victory.
But that was then, and this is now. No. 2 Destrehan (11-1) will once again host No. 7 Terrebonne (11-1) in a quarterfinal matchup. The stakes are much higher this time around, with a trip to the Class 5A semifinals on the line, and Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux expects the 11-1 Tigers to pack a much heavier punch this time around.
“What worked for us a few weeks ago worked then, but now it’s back to the drawing board,” Robicheaux said. “Terrebonne is going to focus on those things that worked well for us, they’re going to bring some new wrinkles to their plan and look for some things to attack. It’s never ideal to play someone a second time, but the big thing is we’re still playing and hopefully will continue to do so. But it does change some things.”
In the first matchup, Destrehan scored on seven of its nine possessions, including a pair of touchdowns in the very early stages of the game that equated to a quick 14-0 lead. Though Terrebonne answered with a first quarter score of their own, the Wildcats posted three second quarter scores to take a commanding 35-7 lead into the half and never looked back.
J.R. Blood accounted for five touchdowns and John Emery scored three times for Destrehan, including a physically dominating scoring run through several defenders for the night’s first touchdown.
“We built a lot of momentum early , score some points and got ourselves on a roll, and when you do that you’re also helping our your defense,” Robicheaux said. “But you don’t get off to that kind of start all the time. That team has such great weapons, and you’ll never completely stop them.”
Indeed, while Destrehan is the highest ranked team the Tigers have played this year, the 49 points allowed represented a very uncharacteristic outing for the Terrebonne defense — it was more than twice as many points as Terrebonne has allowed in any other outing this season, with first round opponent Chalmette’s 22 points scored representing season high otherwise. On five occasions, the Tigers have allowed seven points or less.
That defensive mettle has been the difference for Terrebonne, representing growth from last season’s squad which was known for its high-scoring offense led by a trio of great athletes, JaKhi Douglas, Keshawn James and running back Chaz Ward. Those three have gone nowhere, and are fueling an offense that’s scored 36.3 points per game.
“They do such a good job moving those guys around, getting them to ball in different formations … they’re really creative in what they do,” Robicheaux said. “They get guys in space, those wide receivers will come into the backfield and then play quarterback. You never know what’s coming next, so you have to stay on your toes.”
Terrebonne eliminated Chalmette and Ouachita Parish en route to the quarterfinals. The latter came by a 35-14 score and saw the Tigers avenge their 2017 playoff loss to Ouachita. Terrebonne rolled to victory behind 27 unanswered first half points. Ward rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown. Two-way player Anthony Ruffin scored twice on offense while intercepting a pass and recording a sack on defense.
Destrehan, meanwhile, saw Emery rush for 92 offensive yards to go with his total three touchdowns last week in a 31-26 second round win over Landry-Walker (7-5). Blood passed for 178 yards. Quincy Brown caught six passes for 84 yards and Quinton Torbor five for 65, while a Champ Craven interception and Alex Huszar sack played huge in holding off the Charging Bucs late.