Destrehan’s Shane Lee stepped toward his offensive line before planting his foot and shifting his momentum to run outside.
He was gone – and so were the Wildcats.
That 60-yard touchdown run was Lee’s third of the night, putting Destrehan ahead 28-0 in what would end as a 38-7 victory over District 7-5A rival East St. John.
Destrehan (5-0, 5-0) led 21-0 at halftime and kept East St. John (3-3, 3-2) scoreless until the fourth quarter to earn the win, which clinched the District 7-5A championship for Destrehan.
For Lee, the lead back of a deep and very talented group of Wildcat rushers, it was his biggest statistical night of the season.
“When I bounced it to the outside, I just saw all that free space. I couldn’t believe it,” Lee said. “We came out hard tonight … we wanted to end it early.”
That final scoring run did the trick toward that goal, a knockout punch that also served as a reminder: while known for his power, Lee can also outrun you.
“He ran hard,” said Destrehan head coach Marcus Scott. “We got the chance to see him really open it up on that long run and show how fast he really is. East St. John is pretty fast across the board on defense, and he was able to eliminate some angles on that run.”
Destrehan jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead after Brandon Freeman took the opening kickoff of the game deep into East St. John territory. The return unit let Destrehan start off in the redzone and Lee finished the drive, punching it in for a 7-0 lead. Destrehan extended that lead to 13-0 – the extra point was missed – after a second short touchdown run.
Another special teams splash play came after the Destrehan defense forced ESJ to punt in the second quarter. The ball was snapped and mishandled in the endzone, where Jacobi Green scooped it up for a touchdown to push Destrehan ahead 21-0 after a two-point conversion.
Lee’s long run made it 28-0 in the third quarter. Patrick LeBranch added the Wildcats’ fifth and final touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter.
East St. John wide receiver Kylon Harris, one of the state’s top playmakers – Scott said during the week that Harris has been “a problem” for his district opponents for some time now – had the focus of the Destrehan defense all night.
“We had to pay him special attention when he was out wide,” Scott said. “Our guys up front did a good job of getting pressure, and that allowed us to stay in coverage a lot of the night.”
Harris did land one shot late in the game – he took a direct snap and got loose for a 99-yard touchdown run down the sideline to account for ESJ’s lone score of the night.