Third and long: words that haunted opposing quarterbacks and coaches alike as they faced off against Destrehan.
The Wildcats defense was something to behold once again in 2021. DHS allowed just seven touchdowns through the entirety of the regular season, including two shutouts. A huge part of that success was generated from a ferocious pass rush, a fact LSWA All-State voters were quite in tune with as two Destrehan rush ends earned those honors: senior Steven Walker and sophomore Kolaj Cobbins, both earning their place on the Class 5A All-State squad.
Walker, the defensive MVP of District 7-5A, was an intimidating force for the Wildcats. The 6’2, 250 pound end registered play after play behind the line of scrimmage, in part thanks to a very quick first step, high motor and strong effort. Those traits have drawn him attention from collegiate recruiters, and on Jan. 25 Walker announced via Twitter his plans to sign with Nicholls State.
“Steven was voted unanimous team captain by his teammates and named unanimous Defensive MVP in our district,” said Destrehan head coach Marcus Scott. ”It was a lot of hard work on his part getting himself to this point, and it couldn’t have happened to a better person. His hard work paid off.”
Scott said Walker played with a high intensity level consistently, and it lifted both his game and that of those around him.
He made the opposing backfield his residence – his 17.5 tackles for loss led the team, to go with six sacks and 52 total tackles. He also forced two fumbles and logged seven quarterback pressures.
Cobbins, meanwhile, made his presence known very early in the season, making several impact games in his team’s 38-7 victory over Hahnville to open the 2021 campaign. The outside linebacker’s speed and length at 6’3, 200 pounds made it difficult for opposing players to escape him. Though only a sophomore, he’s drawn strong attention from recruiters at the next level – he’s already received an offer from Purdue.
“Kolaj is a gifted kid,” Scott said. “He’s just scratching the surface. His first step is probably as good as I’ve seen from a kid that young … it was just good to see him mature throughout the season. We can only expect more (going forward). It should be a lot of fun watching him develop over the next few years.”
Cobbins finished with 60 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. When he got to his destination, he made an impact – Cobbins forced a team-high eight fumbles and registered 11 quarterback pressures.
The pairing gave Destrehan a lot of flexibility defensively. The Wildcats could pressure the quarterback without sending a blitz, allowing the team to flood the field with extra coverage.
“They allow you to be a lot simpler on the backend, in terms of coverage and things of that nature because they can get pressure with just that four-man rush,” Scott said.
As strong as Walker and Cobbins were on the field, Scott said both are standout individuals off of it as well.
“Both of these kids are honor roll students, well-liked by their peers, their teachers, and in the community, which makes it even more special … that young men like this can receive such a high honor,” Scott said.
Zachary’s Eli Holstein earned Outstanding Offensive Player honors, while his head coach, David Brewerton, captured Coach of the Year for 5A. Outstanding Defensive Player honors went to Jacoby Mathews.
The All-State offense consists of wide receivers Charles Robertson (Zachary), Jamaal Levy (Barbe) and Kendrick Law Jr. (Capt. Shreve); offensive linemen Michah Scheer (Ruston), Emery Jones (Catholic), Joshua Berault (Jesuit), Jayson Montgomery-Scott (Brother Martin) and Cam East (St. Augustine); quarterback Eli Holstein (Zachary); running backs Dyson Fields (Ruston), Rontavious Richmond (Parkway) and Braydon Johnson (Ponchatoula); kicker Abel Peterman (Alexandria) and athlete Rickie Collins (Woodlawn).
Joining Walker and Cobbins on the All-State defense are defensive linemen Kameron Hamilton (Zachary), Jermaine Vessell (Catholic) and Walter Bob (Acadiana); linebackers Carmycah Glass (Ouachita) Chauncey Lee (West Monroe) and Jadon Mayfield (Ruston); defensive backs Jadais Richard (West Monroe), Kylin Jackson (Zachary), Jacoby Mathews (Ponchatoula) and Justin Aaron (Natchitoches Central); punter Kylan Dupre and return specialist Jadun Colbert (Southside).