Marcus Scott guided the Destrehan Wildcats to the Class 5A state semifinals in his first season as the program’s head coach, continuing what’s become an astounding string of deep playoff runs for the team – DHS has reached at least the semifinal round in six of the past seven seasons.
Expectations are always high for the Wildcats, which means the big games on the schedule always feel just a little bit bigger. And the marquee matchups begin early for Destrehan in 2021, including its annual rivalry brawl with Hahnville, this year coming in Week Four.
Destrehan will kick off the regular season at home Sept. 3 against visiting Bonnabel, a Bruins team that struggled in an abbreviated six game season at 1-5. Two years ago, Destrehan bested Bonnabel 38-16.
On Sept. 10, DHS faces a bit of a wildcard as it matches up against an out of state foe at Wildcat Stadium: Trinity-Byrnes of South Carolina. The latter went 4-6 last season, but this is not a weak program to say the least: just two years ago, Byrnes went 14-1 to win South Carolina’s Class 2A state championship, the first in school history. That championship win came 55-49 against opposing Hilton in overtime, the first title in school history.
In Week Three, Destrehan will take to the road for the first time to take on East Ascension, the No. 16 seed in Class 5A last year. EA went 5-4 overall and fell in round two of the playoffs to Acadiana. It figures to be a good early litmus test for the Wildcats against a veteran postseason program.
Then the action truly heats up.
Hahnville hosts this year’s edition of the St. Charles Parish “Super Bowl.” Destrehan earned a 36-23 win over the Tigers last season. That game was played in the final week of the regular season. This time, the rivals kick off District 7-5A play for one another.
Destrehan returns home for more district action in the fifth week, facing visiting H.L. Bourgeois before traveling to Central Lafourche in Week sixth. Bourgeois went 2-8 last season, while CLHS went winless.
DHS will face last season’s No. 21 seed in 5A, Terrebonne, in Week Seven at Wildcat Stadium. The Tigers will be looking to gain a measure of payback for 63-7 loss at DHS in Week 3 of last season.
Following a Week Eight bye, Week Nine yields perhaps the biggest game on paper for DHS following the Hahnville showdown. Destrehan hosts a rising East St. John program that reached the Class 5A quarterfinals last season. Under head coach Brandon Brown, the Reserve school has been gathering momentum and boasts one of the most talented rosters in the state. ESJ bounced No. 2 seeded Ehret out of the playoffs in round two last year.
Last season, East St. John led 12-3 at halftime before Destrehan roared to a 31-12 victory in the second half. This promises to be a game that looms large in playoff positioning.
Week 10 sees another district foe and 2020 playoff qualifier on the slate as DHS travels to Thibodaux. The Tigers were one of the final teams into the 2020 field as the No. 31 seed, but gave John Ehret a battle in the opening round, a 21-14 loss. Destrehan bested Thibodaux 33-7 last season, but the Tigers have been among 7-5A’s strongest teams in recent years and are on the radar again in 2021.