Going into the season, everyone knew that Destrehan was loaded on defense. And while that unit has certainly played lights out so far, the offense has been extremely efficient, needing only two games to rack up 76 points.
Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux says that success is due largely to an outstanding offensive line.
“Probably the biggest factor in our success so far has been our offensive line,” Robicheaux said. “We have four guys who played in the dome last year and they are keeping pressure off of our quarterback and giving our receivers time to get better, while also helping our running game.”
Seniors Bobby Gorman, Kyle Wagner and Blaine Wagner, along with junior Ashton Duhe, helped lead Destrehan to a perfect 15-0 finish and a state championship last year. The only new starter on the line is senior Kurt Hebert, who took over at guard.
In Destrehan’s two victories this season, a 35-7 beat-down of St. James and a 41-14 shellacking of Terrebonne, the Wildcats have rushed for 266 yards and thrown for 348 more.
In fact, Destrehan only needed one quarter to put 28 points on Terrebonne. The Wildcats got started with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Wynrick Smothers to Corey Vidal, then made the score 14-0 with a 22-yard interception return by linebacker Brian Blackwell. Smothers and Vidal hooked up once again to stretch the lead to 21-0, before the quarter ended with 2-yard run by back Myron Smith.
Smothers would throw another touchdown pass in the second quarter, with a Ryan Rome field goal making it 38-0 at the half.
“I thought our performance was good and I was pleased with our conditioning,” Robicheaux said. “It was also our first road game and we had a lot of questions to answer. I thought we played very well.”
While the offense is accumulating points at a frenzied pace, Robicheaux has also been pleased with the play of his defense.
“They have played well and the starters have only given up seven points in two games,” Robicheaux said. “You have to be excited anytime you are able to do that.”
Defensive end standout Darrington Sentimore leads the team with 13.5 tackles and is followed closely by noseguard Calvin Ursin and linebacker Rufus Porter. They have 11 and nine tackles, respectively.
The Wildcats are also doing well in the turnover department. Blackwell has two interceptions this season while Devon Walker and Antonio Parker each have one.
Destrehan’s road might get a little tougher on Friday when they host Higgins. The Hurricanes are coming off an 8-4 season that ended with a loss in the second round of the 5A playoffs. However, Higgins did lose three all-state players from last year, including offensive lineman Kermit Tyler, quarterback Aldaro Russell and linebacker Avery Crooks.
Those losses haven’t slowed Higgins down so far, as they beat St. Charles Catholic 37-7 and beat Bourgeois 38-14.
A major reason behind the Hurricanes early season success has been the play of tailback Nolan Leboeuf. Leboeuf rushed for 124 yards on 17 carries against St. Charles Catholic and picked up 126 yards on 23 carries against Bourgeois.
“Higgins is big, big, big,” Robicheaux said. “They have scored in the 30s twice and Laboeuf is very dangerous in their triple option attack. They also have a lot of speed and their lines are huge.”
For Robicheaux, the key to victory is simple.
“It comes down to if we can play big,” Robicheaux said.