Every week that Destrehan wins the opening coin toss, Coach Stephen Robicheaux always takes the ball — he believes in his offense and wants the opportunity for his team to set the tone early.
And man, did the Wildcats ever Friday night.
Destrehan’s John Emery rumbled through several Terrebonne defenders for the first of his three touchdowns on a night the Wildcats turned a much-awaited showdown into a showcase, handing visiting Terrebonne its first loss of the season via a 49-20 score and securing the outright District 7-5A championship in the process.
J.R. Blood threw four touchdown passes and rushed for another to lead the Wildcats along with Emery. Destrehan was locked in from the start, scoring on each of its first five possessions of the night to take a 35-7 halftime lead and all but slam the door on Terrebonne’s district title hopes. The game was a matchup of Class 5A’s second (Destrehan) and sixth ranked teams in power points, and the win all but cements DHS as the No. 2 seed when the Class 5A postseason bracket is released on Sunday.
“All week for us, the key word we focused on was confidence,” said Emery. “We had a lot of confidence. We knew (Terrebonne) would come in talking about this and that … they did jumping jacks on our Wildcat (the midfield logo) and that turned us up. We knew we’d have a great game, and that was the mindset we kept.”
Robicheaux called it a night in which “everything worked.”
“If you’d have told me we’d score 49 and hold these guys (defensively) mostly all night, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. “These kids worked hard all week, our coaches had a tremendous game plan and it showed tonight.”
Destrehan (9-1, 6-0) quickly scored on its first drive of the night when Blood hit Emery on a swing pass for a 35-yard touchdown, the latter carrying several Tiger defenders into the end zone along with him—a tone-setter if ever there was one.
“It was desire,” Emery said. “I was out (injured) and didn’t get to play against them last season. I had that chip on my shoulder … I saw the end zone and attacked.”
Emery punched in his second score of the night on his team’s next possession, this time from 16 yards out.
Chaz Ward provided an answer for Terrebonne (9-1, 5-1) on a 7-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7, and it looked like a shootout would be on.
But it was the Wildcats who simply kept pouring it on. Blood connected with Quincy Brown for a 9-yard touchdown to cap Destrehan’s next possession.
Emery cashed in on his third first half touchdown, a 1-yard plunge to make it 28-7. Then fellow rusher Kyle Edwards got in on the action, finding a seam and blasting for a 29-yard touchdown to make it 35-7 at halftime.
Destrehan scored on its first possession of the second half on Blood’s touchdown pass to Joseph Washington, and added another score on a Blood touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
Ward scored twice in the second half to give him three touchdowns on the night, the last on a pass from Keshawn James.
While happy to see his team earn yet another district championship, Robicheaux maintained all week long that the greater focus was on earning the second seed in 5A, and he stuck to his guns after the district title was secured.
“It’s always what you want at Destrehan, to be the district champion, and our kids came out and gave it to us,” Robicheaux said. “But these guys still have goals they haven’t attained yet.”