Wildcats seize momentum before half en route to 16th straight victory

Jackson Fields of Destrehan scrambles against Ehret.

It’s been a long time since Destrehan found itself in a dog fight during regular season action, but that’s exactly what John Ehret brought to the defending state champion Wildcats on Friday night at Hoss Memstas Stadium – with less than a minute left in the first half, the Patriots led Destrehan 7-0 and were threatening to end the Wildcats’ winning streak at 15 games.  

But momentum can swing in the craziest ways sometimes. Destrehan’s Jackson Fields connected with Jabari Mack downfield, and Ehret forced a fumble. But the recovery was made by the Wildcats’ Phillip Wright – one of the fastest players on the team – and Wright pulled away for a touchdown with just 22 seconds left, tying the game and setting the stage for Destrehan to outscore Ehret 17-0 in the second half in an eventual 24-7 victory.  

Destrehan head coach Marcus Scott shook his head when the play came up. 

“Sometimes you’ve gotta be lucky,” he said with a laugh. “It was a great throw, (Mack) made a great catch – just didn’t quite secure the ball to the ground. Phillip was hustling and good things happen when you hustle.” 

Instead of leading the defending champions at halftime, Ehret was forced to settle for a tie entering the break.  

“It was definitely a little boost for us,” Scott said. “We knew how many mistakes we’d made in the first half and Ehret is a good team. We were able to bounce back from some adversity.” 

It was Destrehan’s 16th win in a row, extending the current longest winning streak in Louisiana.  

In its toughest games, Destrehan (2-0) turns to running back Shane Lee and such was the case Friday. Lee and fellow running back Shane Ward began wearing down the Ehret front and gaining chunks of yardage. Lee scored twice in the second half, including a 34-yard touchdown off right tackle in the fourth quarter that served as the game’s backbreaker, putting Destrehan up 21-7.  

“The offensive line played well, and some of those runs Shane made after contact were unbelievable,” said Scott. 

Lee had his own thoughts on the subject. 

“They don’t call me Beast Mode for nothing,” he quipped.  

Early in the second half, with the game tied at 7, Destrehan drove straight down the field. But a fumble on an errant exchange inside the 5 led to a fumble recovery by Ehret’s Kurtis Milburn. 

Ehret (0-2) was driving on the ensuing drive when Kolaj Cobbins got into the backfield and made a tackle for loss to force a fourth down and Patriots’ punt.  

The Wildcats faced their own third and long situation with 13 yards to go for a first. Fields found Johnnie Thiel cutting across the middle for a big gain to the Ehret 14.  

Lee punched in his first touchdown of the night to make it 14-7 with 4:16 left in the third quarter.  

The Patriots’ next drive was short circuited by Gideon Bowman’s third down sack, leading to a punt.  

Destrehan picked up another third and long conversion when Fields ran a draw and gained 18 yards. It was a key play leading to Lee’s 34-yard score that made it a two-touchdown lead with 8:45 remaining in play.  

Ehret drove into Wildcats’ territory but Braylon Cryer’s interception in the endzone all but clinched the win. Destrehan’s Ryan Lacy added a 29-yard field goal to round out the final score.  

Perhaps the thing that most summed up Lee’s dominant second half was a sequence late in the fourth quarter that saw him rip off an 82-yard run – it was called back for holding. Moments later, he got loose for a 60-plus yarder.  

“That was kind of shocking,” Lee said. “We kept running it and we got another chance and hit it a second time.” 


About Ryan Arena 2828 Articles
Sports Editor

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.