West Jefferson was once home for Marcus Scott.
For six seasons, Scott led the Buccaneers as the program’s head coach, guiding the team to the playoffs in each of those years (2008-2013). It was Scott’s first head coaching position and the start of what has become a very successful career in the prep ranks.
Beyond his time at West Jefferson, Scott’s imprint on the West bank of New Orleans expanded when he became the head coach at John Ehret, where he coached for two seasons and led the Patriots to the Class 5A semifinals.
This week, what represents Scott’s former home comes to his new one at Destrehan High. The No. 29 seeded Buccaneers visit the No. 4 seeded Wildcats Friday night in an opening round Class 5A playoff game.
Scott noted it will be the first time he’s faced a former team of his in the playoffs.
“When I was at Ehret we played West Jefferson, but it wasn’t a playoff game,” Scott said. “There are a lot of great people there. The people at West Jeff gave me my first opportunity to be a head coach. There are a lot of special people there.
“But, when it comes down to the game itself, it’s another opponent, and we’ll have to be at our very best.”
The winner of this game will face the winner of No. 13 Woodlawn-Baton Rouge and No. 20 Natchitoches Central in round two.
This is what it’s all been building up to for Destrehan all season long – the postseason is here. And while this is common for a Destrehan program that’s made it to at least the state semifinal round in all but two seasons since 2013 – six of the past eight years – this regular season has been one of absolute domination for Destrehan, which has won each of its six victories by an average of 37 points a game.
West Jefferson went 4-3 this season, including wins in three of its last four games. Last year was a breakthrough season for the Buccaneers, who reached the playoffs for the first time in seven years – and the first time since Scott departed the program. Head coach Willie Brooks has the team in the playoffs for a second straight season, and the program headed in the right direction.
Quarterback Caivyn Johnson leads the offense along with running back Josh Barbie. Both players accounted for touchdowns in last week’s regular season finale, a 28-16 loss to rival East Jefferson, which is the No. 19 seed in this year’s 5A field.
That 16-point total was a season-low for a West Jefferson squad that’s scored more than 40 points in three of its seven games and had at least three touchdowns in each game prior to Friday night’s district battle.
“They have a lot of speed on both sides of the ball,” Scott said. “Their skill guys are very capable. There are two good backs in the backfield and (Johnson) is a good player. Several receivers are outstanding … from that perspective, we have our hands full, certainly.”
Defensively, West Jefferson has a knack for making plays in the backfield.
“They don’t stay blocked,” Scott said. “We’ll really have to stay attached to blocks, because they’ll spin off and still make a play. It’s a big challenge for us.”
West Jefferson is faced with a big challenge as well.
Destrehan has outscored its opponents, collectively, 257-34 this season.
The 34 points allowed comes out to just 5.6 points allowed per game, or less than a touchdown. The Wildcats’ once-again suffocating defense has allowed five touchdowns in total this season and no field goals.