Marcus Scott knows what awaits his Destrehan Wildcats on Friday night – a very talented John Ehret squad, with speed for days and several high Division I commitments.
“They have very good players – really, they have ever since the school opened,” Scott quipped.
Of course, Scott’s defending state champion Wildcats have its own gifted roster and history of producing top talent. Prep fans that want to see two teams match strength on strength, speed on speed should be in for a treat as Ehret hosts Destrehan in a Week 2 non-district matchup.
“I’m pretty sure that between the two of us, we could put together the fastest track team in the state,” Scott said of the respective rosters.
For Scott, this week’s game represents a homecoming. Scott was the head coach of John Ehret prior to arriving at Destrehan for the same position, and many of the Ehret coaches on this year’s sideline were on his staff when Ehret marched to the 5A state semifinals in 2018. There is plenty of familiarity, even before considering Ehret and Destrehan have been regular opponents, either in the regular season or in preseason competition over the past several years.
“I know what kind of coaches they are and the work ethic they have,” Scott said. “That’s a talented group of players and they’re coached up. They know me, and they know how I like to manage a game. That can be a positive and it can also lead to some overthinking. That kind of thing can work either way, but it’s the kids who will decide the game.”
This Ehret team is not afraid to take on top competition. Last season, the Patriots went 0-5 in pre-district competition, playing some of the top teams in the state – including a Destrehan team that took a 42-6 victory over the Patriots in Week 2 of last year. But that made Ehret tougher and better – it reeled off five wins in a row to end the regular season, then gave Rummel a difficult first round encounter before the Raiders ultimately advanced. Head coach Reggie Rogers is 24-9 at the school and hopes are high once again on the Westbank of New Orleans.
Offensively, Eric Cheneau quarterbacks the Patriots, while playmaking rusher Damian Smith will see plenty of work. Wide receiver Charles Coleman is a 4-year starter and experienced downfield playmaker. And Khayree Lee is the cornerstone of an offensive line that can take control of the line of scrimmage in a hurry – an LSU commitment at 6’6 and 325 pounds, Lee isn’t the most fun individual matchup to draw, to be sure.
“They have so many playmakers,” Scott said. “We have to be sound tacklers and do our best to not give up many momentum plays.”
Defensively, Ehret boasts a loaded secondary led by Florida commit Wardell Mack and Tulane commit Armani Cargo.
Mack was part of the incoming class at Ehret prior to Scott’s departure, while he’s familiar with Cargo for a different reason – Scott coached Cargo’s older brother at Ehret and played against Cargo’s father when the two were in high school.
“I know what kind of athlete (Cargo) is,” Scott said. “Both of those guys can really run and they have ball skills.”
Tackle Kendall Johnson leads an experienced defensive front.
Destrehan made short work of Bonnabel in its season opener last week, capturing a 48-7 win with 41 DHS points coming in the first half.
One might call it a promising debut for Jackson Fields in his first varsity start at quarterback – he went a perfect 6-for-6 for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Shane Lee scored three touchdowns and rushed for 43 yards on eight carries. Makylon Smothers and Johnnie Thiel hauled in scores and Greg Wilfred returned a punt for a touchdown.
Arrington Adams and Kolaj Cobbins each tallied 1.5 sacks in the win.
NOTES: At 15 consecutive wins, Destrehan currently has the state’s longest win streak … Marcus Scott has gone 36-3 as Destrehan head coach, and has lost just one game in the regular season during his tenure – his very first, against St. Paul’s in 2020 … even after losing a senior class with a school record number of collegiate signees, Destrehan ranks 3rd in the latest LSWA Class 5A poll, behind only John Curtis and Catholic-Baton Rouge.