Coming off of one of its most complete efforts of the season in a victory over Jesuit, Destrehan is preparing to wrap up its regular season by visiting a high-scoring Terrebonne squad this Friday night in a battle of high-ranked Class 5A playoff contenders.
The Tigers have won three out of four, most recently taking a 40-7 win over H.L. Bourgeois last week and a 34-28 win over Central Lafourche two weeks ago — both games in the road. Terrebonne (7-2, 3-2) is averaging 40 points per game this season behind a spread offense led by sophomore quarterback Ja’khi Douglas. Douglas is not big at 5-foot-11 and 170 lbs., but he can hurt teams in a variety of ways.
“He’s most dangerous on broken plays,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “He makes positives out of negatives and does a tremendous job getting out of trouble. The one thing we really have to do is play to the ball at all times. We can’t let him scramble and make plays on us, because that’s when they’re most dangerous.”
Robicheaux noted the depth of talent Douglas has to work with as well, highlighted by running back and slot receiver Keshawn James.
“He’s a kid I really like,” Robicheaux said. “He just makes plays for them and you have to be ready for anything, because they’ll line him up all over the place and get the ball to him in space.
“(Chaz) Ward is a guy who can really run the ball for them. They’ve got three or four really good wide receivers who can go downfield and get it.”
The plus for Destrehan (7-2, 4-1) is that this is a strength on strength matchup for the Wildcats, whose defense has risen to the challenge all season long. Last week, DHS held Jesuit to less than 40 rushing yards, and the Wildcats hope to make Terrebonne one-dimensional this week.
“The good thing is we’ve been playing pretty good defense over the last few weeks, so we’ve just got to keep making plays and contain their offense,” Robicheaux said.
In last week’s Terrebonne win, Ward rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown while Douglas accounted for three total touchdowns. Douglas connected with receivers Brennon Guidry and D’Jon Scott for his two passing scores.
For both teams, a win would effectively cement a home playoff game in the first round of the postseason.
Offensively for Destrehan, the team received a boost last week with the return of running back Kyle Edwards, who rushed for 122 yards on 25 carries and scored a game-sealing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Destrehan had been missing both Edwards and starter John Emery in its two prior games.
“It was huge to get him back,” Robicheaux said. “Ed’Juan (Green) and Jason (Lewis) did a good job filling that role, but Kyle adds a lot to our offense. He’s a bigger back with a lot of speed and he showed off what he can do last week.”
And Destrehan showed off its offensive versatility. A week after quarterback J.R. Blood threw five touchdown passes, against Jesuit Blood only attempted six throws, instead utilizing his legs to rush for 95 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
“Coach (Greg) Boyne saw J.R. would probably have a chance to do some positive things running the football,” Robicheaux said. “J.R. did a great job. Kyle did a great job and so did our offensive line against what I think it a very good defensive front in Jesuit.
“(The offensive plan) really depends on what the defense and game situation dictate. We got a bit of a lead and our defense was playing really good football, so let’s control the ball and play defense.”