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Blood helps rally Destrehan to dramatic win over Mandeville

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  • RPF Staff
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  • November 19, 2016 - 2:27am

File photosStephen Robicheaux's Destrehan Wildcats faced quite a scare but stilled advanced to the quarterfinals again with a 37-36 victory over Mandeville on Friday night.

They know about Blood pressure in Destrehan.

Wildcats sophomore quarterback J.R. Blood came off the bench to direct a game-winning 82-yard drive in the closing seconds to lead Destrehan to a 37-36 come-from-behind win at Mandeville in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs Friday night.

The top-seeded Wildcats were on the ropes late, trailing Mandeville, the No. 17 seed, 36-22 with slightly more than six minutes remaining in the game.

“They had outplayed us all night. We were worried. We hadn’t stopped them all night,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said of trailing by 14 points late in the game.

When John Emery scored on a 35-yard run, the Wildcats narrowed the gap to seven points but there only was 2:19 left in the contest.

The Wildcats were unsuccessful on an onside kick attempt but Destrehan’s defense forced a punt.

Destrehan got the ball back with less than two minutes left in the game, needing to go 82 yards and without any timeouts remaining. The Wildcats also were without starting quarterback Kohen Granier.

Granier missed the second half of the season after suffering a knee injury against Hahnville in Week 4. When a Mandeville defender fell on top of his knee, the senior quarterback was forced from the game.

Like he had done in a dramatic 31-28 win over Hahnville, Blood entered the game to try and save the day.

He hit on 4 of 5 passes in the drive, culminating in a 17-yard strike to Justin Jefferson with nine seconds left in the game to rally the Wildcats to within one point.

“It’s the same thing he did against Hahnville. He came in there and did a phenomenal job. He ended up hitting Justin on the skinny post route,” said Robicheaux.

Jefferson stayed on the field as the holder with Destrehan needing the extra point for a tie to force overtime. The snap went through his hands. He then rolled out before tossing to Macon Clark for a two-point conversion and a dramatic 37-36 triumph for the Wildcats.

The win improved Destrehan to 11-0 on the season. The Wildcats will host John Ehret in the quarterfinals. Ehret, the No. 9 seed, defeated Destrehan rival Hahnville, the No. 8 seed, 35-28 on Friday. Mandeville ended the season 7-5.

“It was a great effort by our kids to stay with it and we are very, very, very fortunate to come out with a win,” said Robicheaux.

Destrehan trailed 14-8 at halftime.

Fritz Walker scored on a pair of touchdown runs for the Skippers while Destrehan’s points came on a safety and a 12-yard run by Kristian Mosley.

A 48-yard interception return by Daniel Seiber extended Mandeville’s lead to 22-8 early in the third quarter.

Destrehan answered less than a minute later on an 82-yard pass from Granier to Jefferson.

Mandeville closed out the third quarter with a 29-15 lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Darren Steele to Lovelle Williams.

A 27-yard touchdown pass from Granier to Mike Young made it 29-22 before Steele and Williams hooked up again from 54 yards out with 6:08 left in the game to put Mandeville on top by 14 points to set the stage for the dramatic finish.

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