- Game Preview
- George Becnel
- September 13, 2018 - 1:11pm
While Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux wouldn’t term it a “revenge” or “payback” win, the Wildcats coach had to be content to capture a 31-3 victory over St. Charles Catholic last Friday.
“Overall, I was very pleased,” said Robicheaux. “Coach (Wayne) Stein (St. Charles’ defensive coordinator) just does a good job of getting his kids lined up and they don’t make a whole lot of mistakes. They had seven guys back on defense that pretty much shut us down last year.
“We were just happy to go out and get a win against a quality opponent. They will win a lot of games.”
Destrehan (2-0 and ranked No. 3 in Class 5A) outgained the Comets 392-156 in total yards – numbers that likely would have had to be reversed if St. Charles was to come out on top.
“I think it all starts up front,” Robicheaux said. “I think our defensive line played really well in not allowing them to run the ball as good as they did last year. That was the key. We had a few turnovers and they just possessed the ball a lot more than we did.”
It also didn’t hurt that the Wildcats didn’t have three muffed punts as they did a year ago.
“I don’t know if that cost us the game last year but it just kind of added to it. It’s all about possessions,” said Robicheaux.
While the Wildcats certainly were familiar with the Comets, Destrehan may have just as much familiarity with Friday night’s opponent when it travels to take on John Ehret. The Patriots are 1-1 on the season, opening the year with a loss at West Monroe before blanking Hahnville 26-0 last week.
The most familiar of the Patriots to Destrehan may be quarterback Travis Mumphrey. After playing against him for several years, the signal caller finally has reached his senior year.
“He’s a big, physical kid,” Robicheaux said. “He’s a kid that just kind of gets after it. He can pull it down and run it. He has a strong arm and he has great receivers around him. What makes them so tough is their offensive line is so huge. It looks almost like a dang SEC offensive line.”
“You can’t quite get to him,” the Destrehan coach continued. “When you do get to him, he’s so athletic and he’s hard to bring down. We are going to have to try to get to him, and hopefully, we can get him to move around. But once you get him to move around, you’ve got to tackle him, so that’s a double-edge sword.”
Mumphrey has plenty of targets when it comes to the passing game.
“Deron Coleman is a guy they really like,” Robicheaux said. “He’s a guy that’s real fast, runs good routes and gets it done.”
Other receivers include Jordan Pickney, Brandon James and Michael Jones.
Like Destrehan’s offense, the Ehret defense is filled with college prospects. Topping the list is linebacker Donte Starks.
“You have the No. 1 linebacker in the nation and probably three of the four d-linemen that are college (caliber) players. You have some defensive backs back there that will play college ball,” Robicheaux.
Another highly-regarded defender is Earl Barquet. Add in Patrick Jenkins and Jacoby Windmon, and you have a very formidable defensive front.
“They do a good job of causing a lot of havoc, they are physical and they run to the ball,” Robicheaux said. “There’s just not a whole lot of space they will allow you to take.
We kind of know what to expect because we have been playing them for a long time. Every year, they are the same type of team.”
Top players in the secondary include cornerback Kunta Hester and free safety Kaine Williams.
“They are probably the three things you hate to see (as an opposing coach) – they are big, physical and fast,” Robicheaux.
Destrehan and Ehret have played each other numerous times over the years. Adding to the familiarity is new Patriots coach Marcus Scott. Scott served on the Wildcats’ coaching staff a year ago.
“He knows what you like. Him and I were on the same side of the ball (coaching defense). We kind of understand what each other is doing,” Robicheaux said.
However, there are some differences.
“He’s running more of a four-man front and they will get in a 50 and run a 3-3 also. That’s something we didn’t do here,” Robicheaux pointed out.
The Patriots do not play as much man-press coverage than they did in years past.
“They do more zone that man. I think that is Marcus’ influence,” said Robicheaux.
Friendship, however, can only go so far, at least on Friday nights during football season.
“It’s the dynamic of going against your friend. He is one of the classiest guys you will ever see. But that all goes out the window Friday night at seven o’clock,” Robicheaux said.