- Feature Story
- Game Recap
- RPF Staff
- October 29, 2016 - 1:07pm
By Tate Roussel
THIBODAUX – It wasn’t as easy as some of the others but the Destrehan Wildcats finished their fourth-consecutive regular season as unbeaten District 7-5A champions.
The Wildcats trailed 33-28 with slightly more than four minutes remaining in the third quarter before rallying for a 48-33 win at Thibodaux on Friday night.
Playing its final regular-season game because of an open date in Week 10, Destrehan concluded the regular season 9-0 overall and 6-0 in district. The Tigers, who needed a win over Destrehan and next week over Hahnville to claim the league title, fell to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in district play.
“We’ve got some great teams in this district with outstanding players and talent, and that was showing here tonight,” said Wildcat coach Stephen Robicheaux. “We knew we were coming out here to face a very good Thibodaux team.”
Destrehan built a lead of 21-7 before the Tigers closed the game to 21-14 at halftime and then taking the lead by the end of the third quarter.
After scoring just before halftime to trail by a touchdown, the Tiger were looking to build upon their momentum to start the second half but fumbled the kickoff, with Destrehan recovering at the Thibodaux 40-yard line.
Destrehan made quick work of the gift when quarterback J. R. Blood connected with Joshua Schiro on a 40-yard scoring strike less only a minute into the third quarter to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 28-14.
The Blood-to-Schiro score was the first of numerous big plays in the second half as four of the next five combined touchdowns between the two teams over the final two quarters would come from at distance of at least 40 yards.
Thibodaux’s Amik Robertson was able to get into a strong rhythm for his Tigers in the second half, as they regrouped after the turnover and responded to Destrehan’s score on the following drive. His 41-yard touchdown run allowed the Tigers to narrow the gap to 28-21 with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers had regained momentum, and the defense stepped up to cause a Wildcat three-and- out, forcing a punt.
Thibodaux quickly scored again on its following drive, this time thanks to the speed of Saharold Holmes as he raced 39 yards for another Tiger rushing score on a drive that took only two minutes.
A missed extra-point attempt allowed Destrehan to maintain the lead at 28-27.
Thibodaux’s offense remained hot, scoring on its third-straight possession. A 57-yard pass down to the Destrehan 18 set up a touchdown run by Robertson on a two-play possession. An attempted two-point conversion came up short as the Tigers took a 33-28 lead.
The Tigers were looking for more points on their next possession but a fumble inside the red zone gave the ball to Destrehan. The turnover proved extremely costly when Wildcats running back Kristian Mosley broke loose on an 81-yard gallop to put Destrehan back on top at 34-33 at the end of the third quarter.
Mosley finished with 270 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Running mate John Emery added 101 on 10 attempts as the Wildcats amassed more than 350 yards on the ground.
A failed fourth- down attempt by the Tigers gave the Wildcats the ball at their own 30-yard line.
After a 30-yard run by Mosley put Destrehan back on the Tigers’ side of the field, Emery scored on a 40-yard run to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 41-33 with seven minutes left in the game.
An interception set up a short touchdown run by Mosley to make the final 48-33.
Destrehan scored on its opening possession on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Blood to Justin Jefferson. Blood finished the game 11 of 17 for 207 yards and three touchdowns.
Blood, a sophomore, has been Destrehan’s starting quarterback since a midseason injury to senior Kohen Granier.
Granier saw action for the first time since being injured in Destrehan’s Week 4 win over rival Hahnville.
“We’re glad he’s healing, and we kept him in longer than we had planned because he looked good,” said Robicheaux.
After a punt gave the Wildcats a first down on their own 39-yard line, Blood tossed deep but Thibodaux’s Tyler Brown intercepted the pass and the defensive back raced 69 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.
Mosley rushed for more than 35 yards on Destrehan’s next scoring drive that was culminated on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Chancy Cothren and a 14-7 Wildcats lead with 9:31 remaining in the first half.
A 25-yard run by Mosley extended Destrehan’s lead to 21-7 with 6:40 left in the second quarter.
Robertson scored on an 8-yard run in the closing moments of the first half to inch the Tigers closer at 21-14 at halftime and set up the dramatic second half.
“He's one of the best players in the entire state, and he's going to make great plays like we saw tonight,” Robicheaux said of Robertson.