For the first time since 2012, Destrehan lost a game on its home field — and with it, a chance to return to the Superdome.
The Wildcats fell 49-34 to visiting Parkway in a Class 5A quarterfinal matchup on a night that saw DHS commit 18 penalties and turn the ball over seven times.
Parkway (12-1) advances to face No. 2 Zachary in the Class 5A semifinal round. Zachary defeated Hahnville 55-27 to advance.
The Panthers’ Keondre Wudree, a Louisiana Tech commitment, passed for 386 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Terrance Marshall Jr. hauled in five receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Kohen Granier threw five touchdown passes for Destrehan (11-1), two of those to Tramaine Armstrong, two to John Williams and one to Justin Jefferson. Granier tallied over 400 yards through the air.
Destrehan rallied to cut a 21 point deficit down to 35-34 in the fourth quarter, but could never gain the lead. Parkway never trailed in the game.
“You can’t come into the quarterfinals and commit (seven) turnovers against a real good team like them,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “Obviously, you want to come in and play better, but my hat’s off to them. What a game, what a team. That quarterback is special. We had him bottled up a little bit, and he got out of it and made plays all night long. They have a great football team. They’re as skilled as anybody I’ve ever seen.”
The gut-wrenching part of the loss for Destrehan may have been encapsulated by the team’s final touchdown. His team trailing by a touchdown, Granier connected with Williams for a 25-yard score with 7:45 left to play in the fourth quarter, making it 35-34. But Parkway blocked the extra point, leaving Destrehan still down a point.
Destrehan was in the verge of getting a stop on Parkway’s next drive, with the Panthers pushed back to a second down and 30 situation. But quarterback Keondre Wudtee found C.J. Morgan for a 24-yard gain on a wide receiver screen play. Wudree then found Terrance Marshall Jr. for a 13-yard pickup to convert the first down, and then connected with Robert McKnight for a 40-yard gain — both plays coming on similar screen plays. Wudree and Marshall combined to generate a fourth-and-9 touchdown pass that made it 41-34.
But the real problem for Destrehan came on the next snap. Parkway coach David Feaster elected to go for a 2-point conversion in an attempt to slam the door on the Wildcats, and Wudree bought himself time before he found Kendall Brown wide open to make it 43-34 with 4:33 remaining.
“The last two years, I’ve been saying this is the best quarterback in the country,” said Parkway coach David Feaster. “Defensive lineman are chasing him, and it doesn’t matter, he finds a way and makes plays.”
Destrehan drove deep into Parkway territory twice after that, but both drives resulted in interceptions — one of those a Morgan interception return for a touchdown.
“We were completely exhausted. I think both teams were because we both (run plays) so fast … I knew our defense could get some stops, but I didn’t know how many … I know we have outstanding players. CJ Morgan, he’s an SEC guy. He stood up tonight.”
The two teams traded touchdowns in a furious manner over the first six minutes of the game, each side crossing the goalline twice in that span. But the offenses slowed down after that for awhile.
Parkway led 21-14 before a disastrous sequence for Destrehan in the third quarter. McKnight scored on a 1-yard plunge to make it 28-14 with 6:06 left in the third quarter. The Wildcats then fumbled on their ensuing possession, leading to another McKnight score, this one on a pass from Wudree to make it 35-14.
Granier and Destrehan answered on his 9-yard touchdown pass to Armstrong late in the third quarter. Then Destrehan sprung a surprise onside kick and recovered, leading to a drive inside the Parkway 10. But another costly fumble left Destrehan with no points.
“When we got momentum here and there, we just couldn’t score when we had to,” Robicheaux said. “That was the key to the game.”
Granier’s touchdown pass to Jefferson with 11:06 remaining cut Parkway’s lead to 35-28.