First glimpse of defending champs as Destrehan battled Karr in spring action

DHS defensive tackle Kam Thomas works against Karr in spring game action.

The stars were out during Destrehan’s spring game scrimmage with Karr – Justin Jefferson, Ed Reed and a host of collegiate scouts and coaches were on hand to see several of the state’s top recruits in action, and the players put on a worthy showcase in a matchup of power programs.

The two teams played to a 7-7 tie in the timed portion of the scrimmage, Destrehan pulling even with Karr on Jackson Fields’ long pass to Shane Lee on a well-placed wheel route to cap things off on the evening.

It was one of Fields’ three touchdown passes in the full scrimmage – including the teams trading drives of a pre-set number of plays – while Karr quarterback John Johnson tossed five touchdown passes. For Fields, it was a promising start for a player who will be the first quarterback besides Jai Eugene to start a game for Destrehan in three seasons. The Tulane-bound Eugene graduated last week and was a three-year starter for the program.

Of course, this was the first chance for Wildcat fans to see their team in action against another school since Destrehan’s Class 5A state championship victory over Ruston in December. The 2023 squad will attempt to extend a 15-game winning streak this upcoming season after the Wildcats went unbeaten last season, and the cupboard isn’t exactly bare – even after one of the largest collegiate signing classes in the history of the program and 23 seniors moving on in total.

Lee, Anthony Robinson, Jayce Mitchell and Kolaj Cobbins are just a few of the major recruits and seniors-to-be on the DHS roster. The latter of those names knows where he’s headed next: Cobbins is fresh off of last month announcing his commitment to play for Brian Kelly’s LSU Tigers. The 6’4, 215-pound edge rusher looks bigger and stronger, and he made plenty of plays against Karr – he recorded a sack to derail the Cougars on the drive before Lee’s game-tying score.

It sounds like the Wildcats may be getting the most dangerous version of Cobbins yet this fall.

“The grind’s been crazy … a lot of pass rush drills, pass coverage … in college they’re gonna have me at jack position which involves everything– pass coverage, pass rush, read and QB spy … we love playing teams like Edna Karr because that’s one of the best programs in the city and we want to compete against guys like that,” Cobbins said.

Destrehan head coach Marcus Scott said Cobbins is first and foremost a great person, and someone Scott is proud to have as a leader of this team.

“He’s the leader of our defense and a leader of the entire team,” Scott said. “Guys like him set the tone for us.”

Fields connected with Makylon Smothers and Greg Wilfred for touchdowns on the day as well.

“Jackson has a high ceiling,” said Destrehan head coach Marcus Scott of his sophomore passer. “We’re looking forward to seeing him progress and get better this summer.”

Smothers looked strong as well, a positive sign for Destrehan. Scott noted last year that Smothers was breaking out during spring and preseason work prior to an injury sidelining him, and the scrimmage indicated he’s picked up where he left off.

Lee, as DHS observers have grown accustomed to, ran powerfully throughout the night. He scored a touchdown in redzone drills to go with his long reception for a score,

“Shane’s been a steady force, a dominant player in our parish for many years,” Scott said. “It feels like he’s been here forever – we’ll hate to lose him, but we’re going to enjoy what he brings as a senior. As you can see, he can run inside the tackles, run outside and he’s versatile enough to catch the ball out of the backfield.”

For Karr, Dezemen Favorite, Tyrone Wilson and Floyd Jones scored touchdowns on the evening – Wilson leading the trio with a pair of scores, including a 70-yard catch to begin the scrimmage.

Scott said Karr probably made a few more plays than the Wildcats on the whole, but said the work against a team of that caliber is priceless.

“We play Karr every year for a reason. We look forward to this game because it makes us better,” Scott said.

 

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