Destrehan began the 2020 season with a loss. And like last season, 2021 is off to a late start thanks to matters outside the Wildcats’ control.
But in no way would anyone ever call it a slow start. Through two weeks of play, the Wildcats have maintained a full sprint. So far this season, Destrehan has outscored its two opponents 87-7, wins over Hahnville and H.L. Bourgeois. The Wildcats lines are dominating, the running back corps is deep, and quarterback Jai Eugene has shown a connection downfield with each of his top three receivers, Calvin Bullock, Daniel Blood and Leslie Jefferson.
This Friday, Destrehan (2-0, 2-0) aims to make it three wins in a row as it plays host for the second straight week, this time welcoming Central Lafourche to Wildcat Stadium. The game was initially scheduled to be played at Central, but was moved to Destrehan.
Central (0-2, 0-2) has struggled through its first two games of the season: a lopsided loss to Lutcher in the Trojans’ season opener, 53-6, then a 26-8 loss at Terrebonne last week. Both games were on the road.
The Trojans bring a very young team into the matchup, the starting lineup peppered with underclassmen. Over the years, the program has developed a reputation for presenting a tough matchup even when outmatched in personnel. But the team has seen major struggles over the past year-plus: in 2020, it went 0-8, including a 42-0 loss to Destrehan. Central has lost its last 15 games since beginning the 2019 season with a 5-1 mark.
“They run a spread offense, and they have good skill guys. The quarterback (Carson Orgeron) likes to get the ball to (Porter Zeringue and Ceontrey Raymond),” said DHS head coach Marcus Scott. “They do some good things offensively. We really have to align properly and make sure we’re ready to go on defense.”
The Wildcats’ 45-0 win over H.L. Bourgeois indicates this is a Destrehan team with a strong focus – there was no apparent letdown from its season opening rivalry win over Hahnville.
“We focus on fundamentals, the basics, and we talk about staying hungry and doing the little things right in practice,” Scott said. “We track penalties in practice, track missed tackles … we’re still looking to improve, really, because we still haven’t played a perfect game. We still have chances to get better.”
Destrehan’s defense forced the Braves into a few turnovers early, then took advantage of the strong field position – when it wasn’t scoring itself. Linebacker Jermaine Stewart and safety Kevin Adams each crossed the goalline for defensive touchdowns to get DHS off and running. Prior to that, the scoring got started on Jai Eugene’s touchdown connection with Leslie Jefferson.
Trey Nixon, Shane Lee and Brandon Freeman each added rushing touchdowns on the night.
Adams’ touchdown was the latest big play for a junior safety who has developed a reputation for having a nose for the football. The Wildcats’ defense has been unforgiving, with no points allowed over the past seven quarters. Adams and fellow junior safety Lynard Harris are among the reasons why. The two have earned significant playing time since each were freshmen, and now give Destrehan a wealth of winning experience on the back end of its defense.
“Outside of a couple of guys up front, the experience we had coming back was Lynard Harris and Kevin Adams,” Scott said. “Those guys play very hard and do a lot of things out there to help us. They’ve also each played in a lot of big games already, and the great part of it is they’re both juniors, so there’s a lot more to come for each of them.
“We’re all about attacking the football and being aggressive, and we’ve had a great team effort from our defense as a whole. Those two do a good job leading the way for us.”