Williams, special teams play leads Wildcats past Woodlawn

John Williams
John Williams returns a kick for a touchdown.

The Destrehan Wildcats’ special teams had a truly special night in their home opener.

DHS scored three touchdowns on special teams in a wild first quarter Friday night, leading up to a 44-7 victory over Woodlawn that pushed the Wildcats to 2-0 this season.

Tyler Addison, Michael Young and John Williams all registered return scores for Destrehan, which scored 30 first quarter points and all 44 of its points in the first half.

“We talk about the importance in all three phases and you saw it tonight,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “Whenever you can (score on special teams) it helps you tremendously. We still made some mistakes, but overall, to come out here and score 44, you have to be pretty excited. We controlled the line of scrimmage defensively, and any time you do that, you’ll have success.”

Williams scored three touchdowns on the night to lead the Wildcats, while Young had two of his own.

The game pitted Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux against former protégé Daniel Luquet, who played and coached under Robicheaux at Destrehan.

“The lead up was awesome. I think it kind of took over and became what this game was about. That wasn’t what I was looking for,” Luquet said. “I love these guys. My heart and soul, that’s my team. I’m a Woodlawn Panther through and through. I was excited to bring them here because this is an atmosphere I wanted them to play in.

“To win and go deep in the playoffs, you have to play in hostile enviornments, and this is one of the best in the state. We just played two great teams back to back with Hahnville and Destrehan. That’s what we’re trying to build.”

Robicheaux added, “It’s emotional. Daniel was not only a coach, but a player here. The bottom line, though, is you have to go and play football. Our kids were able to focus and excel in all three phases of the game.”

Addison got Destrehan on the board early, scooping up a fumbled punt team snap and bringing it back 34 yards to make it 7-0.

Next, Kohen Granier found Williams for a 38-yard pass to make it 14-0 with 8:12 left in the first quarter.

Woodlawn fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but then Destrehan fumbled it back. Panthers quarterback Jamari Nelson made DHS pay for the turnover, finding Taj Sullivan deep for a 55-yard touchdown, one that proved to generate Woodlawn’s only points.

After a fourth and goal stop of DHS, Woodlawn took over at its own 1. Destrehan stuffed the next play, stopping Javin Myers cold in the endzone for a safety to make it 16-7. On the ensuing kick, Williams ripped off the night’s biggest play, an 80-yard return that ignited a rout.

Michael Young returned a partially blocked punt 11 yards for a score. Granier dialed up Young for a second touchdown, this one from 21 yards, and hit Williams for a 20-yard score.

Robicheaux and Luquet shared a few friendly words during the postgame handshake.

“You could see in his eyes … I mean, that’s my coach,” Luquet said. “That’s my guy. Yeah, I’d like to come here and beat him, but I love and respect the heck out of him. I have a lot of friends on that coaching staff. They really do a great job.”

Destrehan gained 328 total yards. The Wildcats earned eight sacks defensively.

To view pictures from tonight’s game, go to https://www.heraldguide.com/siphotos/2015/09/11/dhs-vs-woodlawn.


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