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District title, possible No. 2 seed on line when DHS hosts Tigers

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  • George Becnel
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  • October 31, 2018 - 1:02pm

File photosStephen Robicheaux's Destrehan Wildcats likely can secure the No. 2 seed in the Class 5A playoffs with a home win Friday night over undefeated Terrebonne.

When Terrebonne visits Destrehan on Friday night in a battle of Top 10 teams, the District 7-5A title will be one the line but the Wildcats also will keep their eyes on another prize.

“On our board, you see ‘district championship’ real small but behind that is ‘No. 2 seed,’ and that’s what we need to shoot for,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said.

After defeating Jesuit 28-23 in non-district play last year, Destrehan jumped from No. 5 to No. 2 in the Class 5A power ratings. Sitting atop the ratings is perennial power West Monroe.

“It was huge for us this week with the Jesuit win,” said Robicheaux. “We jumped to No. 2. If we win, I think we will end up No. 2, which is a big, big plus. If we happen to lose, I think we could go to 3 or 4 because Terrebonne would be a 10-win team.

“We are sitting up there at No. 2. If we win, we would go in as the No. 2 seed and would be opposite of the bracket from West Monroe and the semifinal game will be at your place if you happen to get that far.”

District titles are nothing new for the Wildcats under Robicheaux. For Terrebonne, however, it was be a rare achievement. Destrehan goes into the game 8-1 overall and 5-0 in league play. The Tigers are unbeaten at 9-0 overall and 5-0 in district action.

“It’s a very intriguing matchup. I think their skilled guys are really good and they are big enough up front to do a good job of blocking. You will have to try and contain guys that are really fast,” said Robicheaux.

The fast guys that need to be contained by the Wildcats include Ja’Khi Douglas and Keshawn James. The two are virtually interchangeable and can be anywhere on the field for the Tigers, according to Robicheaux.

“They put either at quarterback or slot and also put them out wide. They will motion them in, give it to them on jet sweeps and run zone read with them. They do a good job of getting the ball in their playmakers’ hands and that’s what you need to do,” the Destrehan coach said.

When the Tigers opt to pound the ball instead of getting out to the perimeter, the football generally goes to 6-foot, 205-pound Chaz Ward.

“He’s a big back. He runs the ball between the tackles,” Robicheaux said of Ward.

Top receiving targets for Terrebonne include Treveon Johnson and Keith Robinson.

“We just have to slow them down. They score on everybody,” Robicheaux said of the Terrebonne offense. “They are a big-play offense and we have to make sure we get a lot of guys around the football because they are trying to get their guys one-on-one and get them in the secondary. We have to get guys up front around the ball, and hopefully, we can make some big plays to stop them.”

A year ago, Destrehan defeated Terrebonne 28-7 behind a pair of touchdown passes from J.R. Blood to tight end Carson Rieder while the Wildcat defense held the Tigers to a single score in the second quarter.

“Last year we did a good job of stringing them out and only gave up seven (points). Hopefully, we can do the same, but I doubt it. We will need more than seven to win it this year. They are that much better of a football team,” said Robicheaux.

Defensively, the Tigers operate mostly utilize a 3-3 Stack.

“They will give you a four-man front every now and then but their base is a 3-3 Stack,” said Robicheaux.

Maason Smith, a rising 6-foot-4, 275-pound sophomore is a key cog along the defensive front.

Other top lineman is Will Robinson.

Linebackers include return all-district performer Cullen Butler, Colby Clement, Montre Patterson and Justin Deroche. Dillion Babin plays linebacker and defensive back.

Others in the secondary are Antony Ruffin, D’jon Scott, Kwan Allen and Jakobe Carter.

Closing the regular season against the likes of Jesuit and Terrebonne, Robicheaux said, affords the Wildcats an opportunity to face playoff-type competition before the postseason officially begins.

“We are getting good teams playing good football right before the playoffs and I think that helps you. For us having to prepare for a Jesuit and going out and playing that type of game made us better. This week will do the same. You have to prepare for a good team, you have to make sure you take care of business, that your kids stay focused and hopefully you are playing your best ball and that will carry over into the playoffs,” the Destrehan coach said.

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.