Two of the premier football programs in Louisiana face off Friday night as Destrehan prepares to host Jesuit in non-district action, and while this has been a down season for the Blue Jays (2-6), DHS coach Stephen Robicheaux expects no less than a grueling challenge for his team.
“When you watch the film, you certainly wouldn’t think you’re watching a 2-6 football team,” said Robicheaux. “They’re well-coached, very, very disciplined and very big up front. They’re the kind of team that typically gives us trouble. Their offensive line gets a hat on defenders and it makes it very tough for you.”
The Blue Jays’ record may be largely deceiving because of the competition Jesuit has faced through the season’s first eight weeks, including bouts with St. Augustine, Warren Easton, St. Paul’s, John Curtis and Rummel.
The last team on that list just edged Jesuit two weeks ago, Rummel emerging with a 22-21 victory in a nailbiter. That close result gives Robicheaux considerable concern.
“That’s the game that really scares me,” Robicheaux said. “Rummel is a very good football team, and to look at that, 22-21, it really scares you to know they can shut down athletes like Rummel has right now. We’ll have to be really well-prepared and play a good game.”
Last week, Jesuit defeated Shaw 31-13. Quarter Alex Watermeier completed 9 of 19 attempts for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted three times. Matt Alexander co-led Jesuit in rushing with 71 yards on 13 carries, with Michael Torry Jr. logging 71 yards as well on 20 attempts. Top receiver Noah Carnado hauled in three receptions for 89 yards.
“Watermeier goes a real good job. He’s 6’4 and sees the field, and when he throws it he’s looking to get it to Carnado. They run with those stretch plays and keep the chains moving through the short passing game. Their backs do a nice job picking holes and they’ll take what you give them.
“They’ve been running that offense for a long time. They’re similar to Mandeville, who gave us problems in the playoffs last season.”
The Wildcats (6-2) will have to be aware of defensive linemen Cyril Melville and Perry Ganci, both of whom Robicheaux noted as tough assignments up front. At linebacker, the Jays trio of Hunter Faust, Ryan Smith and Ethan Branch play sound assignment football, while Robicheaux notes that corners Michael Hull and Ethan Kerrigan “seem to make plays all the time.”
With top running back John Emery still sidelined, the Wildcats made adjustments last week against H.L. Bourgeois. One thing the team made a point of was getting the ball to receiver Quinton Torbor in a variety of ways, both on the perimeter and in the backfield as offensive coordinator Greg Boyne motioned him around the formation.
Torbor scored twice in the game, and 6-foot-4 inch wide receiver Quincy Brown had a big night as well with two touchdown receptions. They helped spur quarterback J.R. Blood to his biggest touchdown night of the season, as the junior finished with five scoring passes.
Blood and those receivers will likely have to make more of those plays Friday if Destrehan is to fell Jesuit and extend its win streak to five.