Destrehan’s offense is as hot as it’s been all season and is coming off of arguably its most spectacular performance heading into this Friday’s homecoming clash with H.L. Bourgeois at Wildcat Stadium.
The Wildcats scored 37 first quarter points and posted 51 in the first half as it soundly defeated Central Lafourche team that entered the game with a 5-1 record. Destrehan’s absurd efficiency in the outing was notable to say the least. John Emery carried the ball just two times and was only stopped by the endzone, scoring on both and tallying 56 yards. J.R. Blood completed 7-of-8 pass attempts for 227 yards and three touchdowns. Nine different Wildcats caught passes on the night from Blood and backup Damarius Jackson — who completed both of his pass attempts.
“I can’t recall many times at all like that, scoring 37 in a quarter or 51 in a half,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “It’s one of those nights where everything seemed to work, and it came against a team that has typically played us tough.”
Slowing Destrehan (6-1, 4-0) down could represent a tall mountain for H.L. Bourgeois to climb. The Braves are 2-5 overall and 1-2 in District 7-5A play. Bourgeois boasts a noteworthy win over a tough East St. John team in district play, but is reeling after two decisive losses in a row: a 31-3 loss at home to Central Lafourche, and a 49-0 defeat at home to Lakeshore.
HOW BOURGEOIS ATTACKS: What’s old is new again. Bourgeois coach Ryan Fournier’s Wing-T option attack is no longer commonplace on the high school landscape, meaning it’s usually unfamiliar for opposing defenses. This is no exception: this is the first Wing-T squad the Wildcats have faced this year.
“We haven’t seen it before and we’ve gotta pick it up this week,” Robicheaux said. “You have to be disciplined and you have to follow your keys. There’s so much misdirection and that can cause mismatches. It’s the type of scheme if you’re not very focused and you’re trying to push up the field, they can hurt you with counters and so forth.”
Robicheaux’s quite familiar with that attack, having seen it a lot earlier in his career when his teams would battle with St. James, which ran that offense under the late Rick Gaille. Back then, Destrehan’s 50 front defense was predicated on patience, reading and reacting. The Wildcats’ front is more aggressive now, which could lead to some big plays in the backfield but could also leave things open for misdirection.
“It’s a different philosophy on attacking the Wing-T … hopefully, we can wreak some havoc with our guys up front,” Robicheaux said. “(Defensive coordinator Malter Scobel) has done a great job all year and our kids have quickly picked things up.”
D’keyvion Sanders makes the Braves go at tailback, and containing him is a must.
“We have to contain him. They run sweep a lot, and if we don’t contain, he can really hurt us,” Robicheaux said.
Quarterback Peyton Leboeuf and RB Tyrik Jenkins are others who highlight the Bourgeois offense.
Defensively, the Braves run a base 4-3. Defensive end Le’kelan Bougere leads the way, with Trevonte Walker adding punch at linebacker.
LAST SEASON: Destrehan went on the road to trounce H.L. Bourgeois 42-3 behind three touchdown passes by Blood.
FORMER CHAMPIONS CELEBRATED: Destrehan honored the members of the program’s 2007 and 2008 Class 5A state championship teams at halftime of last week’s game, and also hosted them together for a pre-game get-together.
Those two teams by most opinions represent the peak years of a Destrehan program that has become an annual powerhouse on the prep football landscape, going unbeaten in both seasons by winning 29 in a row, and featured a plethora of Division I talents. The 2007 team was an offensive juggernaut; the 2008 squad an impenetrable wall defensively.
“Those guys put Destrehan on the map,” said Robicheaux, who coached each squad to those great heights. “You like to see these guys come back … it was just a proud moment to have them out there again, a group that worked so hard and accomplished so much to do some truly special things.”