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Destrehan, West St. John have solid outings in spring game action

  • Tags:
  • Game Recap
  • Spring Practice
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • May 16, 2018 - 9:42pm

The offenses of Riverdale and KIPP-Booker T. Washington had a tough time trying to move the football against West St. John's defense in spring game action on Wednesday.

Destrehan showed early in its Spring Game on Wednesday that the Wildcats continue to have quick-strike ability.

In a scrimmage that feature Destrehan’s first- and second-team units alternating series against visiting Covington, the Wildcats scored twice in their opening set of 12 plays.

Over at West St. John’s three-team scrimmage against Riverdale and KIPP-Booker T. Washington, the Rams scored early as well but it was the WSJ defense that looked rock solid.

The two Spring Games featured a similar format. The teams involved in each game alternated series beginning at the offensive’s 20-yard line. If a first down was made, the drive advanced. If a team failed to convert on fourth down, the back was placed back at the 20 until all plays had taken place.

At Destrehan, the first teams squared off in four 18-play series the second units 8 plays. In Edgard, the three teams had the ball for 12 plays per series. The scrimmage ended with one 15-minute quarter.

The format was different than originally intended for the Spring Game at West St. John. Originally slated to be a four-team event, it was reduced to three teams when St. Helena opted out.

Originally, the plan called for the field to be split in two so all four teams could work continuously in a situational scrimmage.

Destrehan needed only five plays to score on its initial series. Kyle Edwards broke loose on a 54-yard touchdown run. With plays still remaining in the series, a 48-yard pass from quarterback J.R. Blood to Mark Trahan set up a 9-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Brown two plays later.

The Wildcats’ first unit used a 33-yard toss by Blood to set up the quarterback’s 11-yard scoring strike to Kolby Hollins on Destrehan’s second series.

“I was very pleased with the way the offense played,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “I thought J.R. had a tremendous night and we ran the ball real well. The offensive line did a good job of mixing it up with Covington, which has some pretty good defensive linemen.

“Overall, the one thing we were looking about how physical we would be and I think our kids answered that challenge.”

The only big play for Covington in the early portion of the game came on the first play of the Lions’ second possession.

Running back Jeremiah Driver broke loose on a 46-yard gallop to the Destrehan 26. It was time for the Destrehan defense to shine thanks to a pair of sacks (quarterbacks were not live and the whistle was blown before they were hit) which eventually forced the Lions into a fourth-and-24 situation and Covington was unable to convert.

“That’s the kind of defense I think we are going to be. We will be very athletic and more up-the –field and more moving around. We gave up a few plays but they held their own. They moved it on us some but we came up with the plays to get off the field,” Robicheaux said.

Covington failed to score on any of their four series. The Lions drove deep inside the Destrehan 20-yard line late in the fourth series but the Wildcats came up with a stop. Destrehan scored a total of four times and twice more in the timed quarter.

Destrehan played most of the evening without three starters. One was running back John Emery, who played sparingly in the timed quarter.

“Emery tweaked a hamstring Monday at practice so it was kind of a game-time situation. He kind of talked us into letting him play in the quarter so he got a couple of carries and looked good doing so. It was more of a precautionary thing. We know what he can do. He got a couple of touches but we knew he wouldn’t get a whole lot of touches, anyway,” said Emery.

Among those who likely were pleased to see Emery even in limited form were a number of college scouts at the game from schools such as LSU, Florida, Georgia, Southern California, Texas-San Antonio, Nicholls and Southern.

West St. John versus Riverdale and KIPP-Booker T. Washington: The Rams’ defense was stout throughout the scrimmage as neither Riverdale nor KIPP-Booker T. Washington was able to move the ball against the WSJ defense.

“I had some concerns but they looked good,” West St. John coach Brandon Walters said of the Rams’ defense. “We are young and we will take our lumps but as long as those guys fly around the ball and we still love to hit people, I’m satisfied.”

West St. John’s big play on offense came on a touchdown toss from quarterback D’andre Gaudia to receiver Trenton Grow.

“We had to work down the field and we were trying to do some things and we take our matchups and we try to exploit them,” said Walters.

West St. John faced Riverdale and KIPP-Booker T. Washington in 12-play series. Riverdale and Booker T. Washington also squared off against each other once.

In a final set of eight plays, KIPP-Booker T. Washington again was unable to move the ball on the Rams’ defense.

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.