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Suspensions make task for THS harder against Destrehan

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  • George Becnel
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  • September 27, 2018 - 2:22pm

File photosStephen Robicheaux and his seventh-ranked Destrehan Wildcats can move to 2-0 in District 7-5A play with a victory over the visiting Thibodaux Tigers on Friday.

Facing Destrehan, the seven-ranked team in Class 5A, and its imposing array of offensive talent at the skilled positions can be a taunting task for any opponent.

The chore was made even more difficult for the visiting Thibodaux Tigers on Friday night, who will be without five players – including several starters – who have been suspended for the Destrehan game after being involved in a fight in THS’ 30-6 win last week over H.L. Bourgeois.

The suspended players include starting quarterback Luke Alleman, running back/free safety Rimond Thompson, running back/defensive back Josh Holden, defensive tackle Courtney Poche and linebacker Roluan Richard.

Despite the Tigers missing key players – particularly Alleman on offense and Poche on defense – little has changed in Destrehan’s preparation for Friday’s game, according to Wildcats coach Stephen Robicheaux.

“You really can’t do anything else because you don’t know who the backups will be,” said Robicheaux.

Destrehan enters the game 3-1 and finally has the Hahnville game behind it after the Wildcats defeated the Tigers 28-15 last week.

Hahnville went into the game with only one win and without head coach Nick Saltaformaggio, who was serving the final of his four-game suspension in wake of the eligibility issue involving quarterback Andrew Robison.

Without their head coach and the team struggling on offense, Hahnville could have taken the “our season is already over” approach or a “this is the Hahnville-Destrehan rivalry,” and the Tigers opted for the latter, even leading 15-14 at one point in the game.

“They played quite well,” Robicheaux said of the Tigers. “We had opportunities early in the game to kind of put it away. It’s 14-0 and we get a fumble on the 50-yard line and we don’t do anything with it. If we had gotten something done there, it would have been a little bit different.

“Hat’s off to (interim coach) Mike Silva. I thought he did a phenomenal job of holding that thing together over there. They still have some great athletes.”

When Alleman was tossed from Thibodaux’s game last week, Tyren Young moved over from receiver to quarterback and gave the Tigers quality play at the position, which included two rushing touchdowns.

Also a free safety on defense, Young has seen action before at quarterback for Tigers.

“Tyren Young was the quarterback in the spring. He did a good job. We thought that was going to be the kid to win the job,” said Robicheaux.

One player who will be in action for the Tigers on Friday is running back Ferronte Miller.

“He runs real hard. He can just take a crease and go. He runs inside zone hard and does a good job and catches the ball well out of the backfield,” Robicheaux said of Miller.

Thibodaux’s receiving corps has size in 6-foot-1 Marquel Price and 6-foot-2 Davonte’ Davis.

The Tigers have good size on the offensive line, including De’Quincey Gipson and Jacob Chamberlain, both of whom top 300 pounds.

“They will spread you out. They will try to get their athletes out on the perimeter. They do a good job with the short passing game. They will run inside zone and outside zone. They like to get their fast guys out on the perimeter. They will try to showcase their speed. We’ve had a lot of wars with them because it’s speed versus speed,” Robicheaux said of the Thibodaux defense.

Thibodaux’s 3-3 Stack defense will be missing Poche along the line. The front still has Jaden Harry and J’mari Robertson, who is 6-foot-2 and 285 pounds.

Hunter Trosclair and Khalil Brisco are the inside linebackers for Thibodaux.

“I really like the way Hunter Trosclair and Khalil Brisco play. Brisco is a real physical kid,” Robicheaux said.

Byron McPherson is one of the outside linebackers but the unit will be without Richard.

The secondary will be minus Thompson. Drey LeFleur is a top defensive back for the Tigers and Young also plays in the secondary.

Historically, Thibodaux has proven to be a tough opponent for Destrehan and Robicheaux said he expects nothing to change in that regard on Friday.

“We came off a road win and a road loss in two tough games. We just have to get our guys to come up tough. It’s typically a tough game for us. We have to come out ready to play and it’s home sweet home. It’s good to be home again. I’m really happy about the way they bounced back this week and I hope we continue to get better,” 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.