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Destrehan’s season comes to an end with 50-14 semifinal loss

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  • Feature Story
  • Game Recap
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • December 03, 2016 - 7:25am

Photos by Jarrod MonaretDestrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux (left) meets with Landry-Walker counterpart Emanuel Powell after the Wildcats' 50-14 playoff loss.

Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux summed up the Wildcats’ only loss of the season about as well as anyone could.

“Sometimes, teams are just better than you. I think Landry-Walker is a better football team than us,” Robicheaux said.

The Charging Buccaneers certainly showed it. Entering Friday night’s Class 5A semifinal clash at Destrehan, Landry-Walker was averaging more than 50 points per game. The Charging Buccaneers reached that total while amassing more than 500 yards of offense in a dominating 50-14 victory over the Wildcats.

Destrehan, the top seed in Class 5A, ended its season 12-1. Landry-Walker, the No. 5 seed, will take on second-seeded West Monroe next Saturday in the Superdome. West Monroe advanced to the championship game with a 35-14 win over Zachary, the No. 11 seed.

Leading the way in Landry-Walker’s dismantling of the Wildcats was Charging Buccaneers quarterback Keytaon Thompson. Thompson rushed for 98 yards and four touchdowns while hitting on 15 of 21 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown.

“As I ran the ball, those guys (Wildcat defenders) kind of got their eyes in the backfield and my receivers were downfield and they did their thing and we had a good game,” said Thompson.

Thompson was heaping praise from all corners after Friday’s effort.

“He’s a great kid and a tremendous competitor,” Robicheaux said of Thompson. “He just took this team on his back and when you have so many weapons like they have and they threw the ball tremendously and they ran it tremendously.”

“Each and every week he shows up and that’s what you ask for in your leader. The way we go is the way Keytaon goes,” said Landry-Walker coach Emanuel Powell said.

Destrehan led 14-12 with slightly more than five minutes remaining in the first half. Thompson scored three rushing touchdowns in the final 3:47 seconds of the first half as the Charging Buccaneers pulled away for a 36-14 halftime lead.

“I know Coach Robicheaux will come out with a good game plan and he did. As the game went on, the game opened up for me and I just took what he gave,” said Thompson.

What Robicheaux gave was a strategy to try and match points with the potent Charging Buccaneers.

“Early, we thought we could run the ball and kind of keep it away from them and then we thought we could score with them a little bit and that kind of turned on us. That was a decision I made and it wasn’t the right one. Sometimes, you make bad calls, and that’s on me,” Robicheaux said.

Along with Thompson’s running ability, the Mississippi State commitment, continually found soft spots in the Wildcats’ coverage, especially over the middle.

“We were kind of scratching our heads all night. He came out and he made throws and he made all the plays. That’s why good teams do and that’s why they are in the Dome,” said Robicheaux.

Landry-Walker running back added 134 yards rushing and a touchdown. He also had three receptions for 82 yards and another score.

“Speed, speed and more speed. He hits the hole really hard and does a tremendous job. We knew we had our hands full with him,” Robicheaux said of Bush.

“He’s lightning in a bottle,” said Powell. “That’s one of the things – we are very diverse on offense. We have several players that can touch it and score. We try to get it to our playmakers and let them make their plays.”

The Landry-Walker defense did the rest, including holding a normally prolific Wildcat offense to less than 60 yards in the second half.

Destrehan running back Kristian Mosley scored on a 28-yard run to cap a 67-yard opening drive to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.

Landry-Walker countered on its next drive on a 44-yard gallop by Bush. The conversion attempt was no good, leaving Destrehan with a 7-6 edge with 9:16 still remaining in the opening quarter.

After Destrehan turned the ball over on downs at the Landry-Walker 27, the Charging Buccaneers mounted an 11-play drive, culminated on the first of Thompson’s rushing touchdowns. After Thompson scored from 2 yards out, the extra point was blocked as Landry-Walker took a 12-7 lead with 1:02 remaining in the first quarter.

One play after Landry-Walker turned the ball over on downs at the Destrehan 12, Wildcats running back John Emery broke loose on a 72-yard scamper down to the Charging Buccaneers’ 16. Four plays later and with the ball on the 2-yard line, Emery fumbled going into the end zone. Offensive lineman Samson Matthews emerged from the pile with the football to give the Wildcats what would prove to be their last lead of the game at 14-12.

Thompson followed with touchdown runs of 2, 41 and 9 yards to close the half as Landry-Walker pulled away.

The 41-yard run came one play after a shanked Destrehan punt. Thompson’s 9-yard run capped a drive that took 41 seconds. Thompson connected on throws for 27 yards to Lamont Berzat and 28 to Bush on the first two plays of the drive to set up the quick score.

Landry-Walker scored on the opening possession of the third quarter on a 37-yard strike from Thompson to Bush and Chad Alexander added a 12-yard run with 8:43 left in the game to account for the final margin.

The loss, Robicheaux said, could not take away from a memorable season for the Wildcats.

“Going in, when you replace nine on defense - that’s tough. I was so proud of these guys. They fought hard every day. They found ways to win every week. Tonight, (the Charging Buccaneers) were better than us and it showed,” the Wildcats coach said.

Also, the sporting world may have discovered that Mississippi State may have found its next Dak Prescott, a few Louisiana native who is now starring for the Dallas Cowboys.

“Maybe so. Maybe so,” said Thompson.

George Becnel | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Becnel is an award-winning journalist and has been a sports writer and editor for more than 30 years.