Destrehan simply had no answers for Landry-Walker.
The Charging Buccaneers advanced to the Class 5A state championship game with a 50-17 victory over the host Wildcats Friday night, handing Destrehan its first loss and ending the Wildcats’ season in the state semifinals.
Landry-Walker (12-2) was led by an offensive onslaught by quarterback Keytaon Thompson. Thompson accounted for five total touchdowns, including four on the ground.
Destrehan (12-1) led 14-12 in the first quarter before Landry-Walker scored the night’s final 38 points. It was the second straight dominating victory over a top four seed on the road by the 5th seeded Charging Buccaneers. Destrehan was the top seed in 5A, while Landry-Walker trounced fourth-seeded Parkway 61-21 last week.
“That’s what they do,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “They have a great offense. We had to play a perfect game tonight. We knew what we were up against. Their offense is so explosive. They made plays. Sometimes a team is just better than you and I think Landry-Walker’s a better football team than us.”
Thompson, a 6’5, 230 pound Mississippi State commitment, would not be denied. Time and time again, he completed big throws down the middle of the field to convert first downs and move his team, and once into the redzone, he relied on his legs to put points on the board. Landry-Walker did not punt until the third quarter and was held scoreless on just one first half drive.
“He’s a great guy, great kid and tremendous competitor,” Robicheaux said. “He just took his team on his back. They have so many weapons … their speed is just crazy. You try to stop the run, but the way he throws the football, you can’t do it.”
Though the night went Landry-Walker’s way, Destrehan landed some punches early, including the first of the night on Kristian Mosley’s 28-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0.
Landry-Walker responded on Tevin Bush’s 44-yard scoring run, and with less than three minutes elapsed both teams were on the board. DHS led 7-6 after Landry-Walker missed the point after try.
Thompson’s first touchdown run, a 2-yarder, pushed the Bucs ahead 12-7. Destrehan took the lead back with 5:36 to play before halftime when Samson Matthews recovered a fumble in the endzone —Destrehan had the ball on the one but fumbled it into the endzone — to make it 14-12.
But then Landry-Walker began to focus more resources on stopping the running game of Destrehan, and did it with success.
“Our objective was to make them one dimensional,” said Landry-Walker coach Emanuel Powell. “Force them to stop running the football and turn it over to our offense to take over. I’m proud of all three phases of the game for us. One phase feeds off the other, and that's how it's been all year.”
Offensively, Thompson simply took over. A 22-yard touchdown pass to Devonta Jason pushed his team ahead by six before Thompson added touchdown runs of 41 and 5 yards before halftime. The latter was a true backbreaking score, the drive taking just 40 seconds off the clock, while Landry-Walker converted a two-point run on an aborted kick attempt to make it 36-14 at halftime.
“Early we thought we were gonna run the ball, keep it away from them,” Robicheaux said. “It kinda turned on us. I made the decision (to open up the offense), it wasn’t the right one. You hope to match them and score with them and it kind of got out of hand.”
Thompson connected with Bush for a 37-yard score to begin the second half. Leonard Welch added a fourth quarter touchdown run to round out the scoring.
Landry-Walker will face West Monroe in next Saturday night’s 5A championship game.