Some things never seem to change.
When Kohen Granier was a sophomore at Destrehan High School, he showed a knack for coming off the bench and delivering at quarterback for the Wildcats. Rare as it might be for such a young player to be entrusted with significant – and high-leverage – snaps in Class 5A playoff games, much less at quarterback and much less at Destrehan, Granier’s play keyed several major victories en route to the 5A championship game. And in that game, he earned the start.
Granier’s career at Destrehan only skyrocketed from there, as he became the leader of one of the most dynamic offensive teams in the state. His final two years saw him rack up over 4,000 total yards between his passing and running numbers, to go with 52 touchdowns.
This fall, Granier showed he never lost that knack. When Nicholls head coach Tim Rebowe – himself someone who found more than a bit of success with Destrehan – needed someone to step in to provide a spark, it was Granier who was more than ready to answer the call.
After starter Lindsay Scott struggled early in a battle with McNeese State, Granier stepped in off the bench and began to get the offense into a groove. He passed for 152 yards and a touchdown for the Colonels, leading the team to 17 second half points after Nicholls and McNeese went into halftime tied at 7. As Destrehan fans could remember, he added an extra dimension with his legs, rushing four times for 39 yards.
A week later, he’d be called upon again, this time in a more high-profile spot: a matchup with eventual Southland Conference champion Incarnate Word, which entered with a 7-2 record. With the team’s playoff hopes on the line, the Colonels called upon Granier to start the game, though he and Scott would both play throughout. Nicholls charged out to a 20-13 halftime lead before Incarnate took control of the game in the second half.
For his part, Granier completed 18 of 27 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown, adding 16 yards on the ground.
A week later, against a Southeastern team ranked top 15 in the FCS polls, Granier drew his second start of the year – and his team, perhaps, its signature victory of the season. The Colonels shocked the Lions, 45-42, who were playing for a potential share of the Southland Conference championship. That game – which also saw DHS alum Tyler Morton force a pivotal fumble – saw Granier go 9 for 21 with 182 yards and a touchdown, and he rushed for two more. He even caught a pass in this one, going for 12 yards on the reception.
Nicholls did not reach the playoff, but the win over Southeastern banked another winning season for Rebowe’s crew. The former Destrehan head coach earned a 5-year extension, ensuring the Nicholls’ red will retain at least some resemblance to the garnet of the Wildcats.
Granier, meanwhile, proved clutch, ever ready for his opportunity, and ultimately a winner. And that’s no surprise to the Destrehan faithful.