Destrehan’s narrow 35-34 overtime victory over East St. John last week left a few questions for coach Stephen Robicheaux and his Wildcats.
“You are excited for the win and excited that the kids played hard and that it was a big district win in overtime but then looking at the penalties and the mistakes we made, you are sort of like, ‘what’s going on?’ and we sort of took that as measuring stick of what we need to do better,” the Destrehan coach said.
The other question going forward is how effective will the Wildcats’ running attack be following the loss of their top to runners against East St. John.
John Emery had surgery to mend a broken hand while his chief backup, Kyle Edwards, suffered a concussion. Emery may be able to return if the Wildcats make a deep playoff run while the timing of Edwards’ return is questionable.
Both will be out when the Wildcats visit Central Lafourche on Friday night in Mathews.
“It will be running back by committee Friday night. We have guys in Ed’Juan Green, Mark Trahan and Jadon Lewis that can get it done. Also, I think we will have to throw the ball to be successful. It will be interesting to see how it plays out but we have guy in the wings and I think we will be fine,” Robicheaux said.
The game pitting the Wildcats (4-2 overall, 2-1 in District 7-5A) and Trojans (3-3 overall, 1-1 in district) originally was slated to be played in Destrehan. When the Wildcats were able to fill a Week 9 open date with Jesuit, the schedule would have left both Destrehan with six home games this season and only four in 2018. The teams opted to switch sites to give Destrehan five home games each season.
The Keith Menard-coached Trojans are a young football team, starting numerous sophomores.
“They are young but they play really hard. It will be more of a smash-mouth game. We have to be ready to play. It’s a road game and you are always worried about how your team will show up,” Robicheaux said.
While the Trojans a young, the key veteran is David Robinson Jr. The senior running back is a threat in the backfield, at receiver, on defense and on special teams.
“He’s a dual-threat guy. They like to bring him in motion and hand him the ball off on the fire sweep and they like to throw the football to him, also,” Robicheaux said of Robinson.
Getting Robinson the ball is junior quarterback Jacob Barker.
“They run a lot of power football but (Barker) does a good job of throwing the football. He has a good target in the tight end (Logan Matherne) and they do a good job getting him the ball and they are always looking for Robinson. They also like to get Peyton Loredo the ball. They also bring in Logan Wilcox as a double tight end and try to get him the ball, also,” explained Robicheaux.
Other running back threat is sophomore Deon Jenkins.
One area where the Trojans have some experience is on the offensive line. Tackles Jonathan MacCurtrie and Justin Meier, along with center Hobie Gregoire, are all seniors.
“Keith Menard really likes his offensive line. The key for us this game will be controlling the line of scrimmage and playing tough football with those guys and we can withstand their physicality at the line of scrimmage” Robicheaux pointed out.
The Trojans start six sophomores on defense.
Among the top defenders are Trevor Allemand, Dre Crosby, Colyns Harry and Kelvin Sepulveda, Robicheaux said.
Although Destrehan will be without its top two running backs, things won’t change for the Wildcats, according to Robicheaux.
“We will do the same things we have been doing. Obviously, when a 200-yard a game running back goes down sometimes you get a little nervous but these guys have been practicing every week and they have worked real hard and I have no doubt they will be fine Friday night,” the Destrehan coach said.