Kyle Edwards and the Destrehan running game were in high gear in the Wildcats’ 48-34 win over visiting Ponchatoula in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs on Friday night.
Edwards rushed for 234 yards and five touchdowns while the Wildcats ran for 330 yards as a team to run past the Green Wave.
For all of Edwards’ and the Wildcats’ rushing prowess, the defense helped get Destrehan off to a quick start with six sacks and two interceptions in the first half as DHS built a 27-0 halftime lead on the way to the win.
The win advances Destrehan, the No. 7 seed, to the second round at Covington, the No. 23 seed. The Lions defeated No. 10 seed Sam Houston 42-28 on Friday.
On the next play, Edwards, an Alabama commit, scored on a 12-yard touchdown run to give Destrehan a quick 6-0 lead with 9:37 still remaining in the opening quarter.
The Destrehan defense came up with another interception, this time by Eric Jones, to give the ball right back to the Wildcat offense.
A 33-yard toss from Destrehan quarterback Demaruis Jackson to Quincy Brown set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Edwards to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 13-0 at the 7:19 mark of the first quarter.
“Those interceptions got the momentum rolling in our favor,” said Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux.
Elijah Winters got into the interception act for Ponchatoula when he picked off a Jackson pass, but unlike Destrehan, the Green Wave offense could not capitalize off of the turnover.
Meanwhile, Destrehan’s offense drove 43 yards for a touchdown, capped off on a 27-yard run by Razan Keller to make it 20-0 with 3:59 still remaining in the opening quarter.
A short punt gave the ball right back to the Wildcats, who needed only one play to score when Edwards reversed field on a 40-yard gallop to make it 27-0.
Ponchatoula threatened late in the first half but came away with no points when Jake Leitz was short on a 42-yard field goal attempt.
Ponchatoula’s offense came to life in the second half.
The Green Wave opened the third quarter with an 81-yard drive. A 23-yard run by Tyrese Primus set up a 1-yarrd touchdown run by Finley to get Ponchatoula on the board at 27-7 with nine minutes left in the period.
Ponchatoula’s offense still was unable to contain Edwards, who countered with a 32-yard touchdown run for a 34-7 Destrehan lead with 5:14 left in the third quarter.
The Green Wave responded when Finley found Demontrell Osby on a 48-yard gain to set up a 7-yard touchdown by the quarterback to make it 34-13 with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
A 4-yard run by Braydon Johnson pulled Ponchatoula to within 34-20 only 10 seconds into the fourth quarter but any Green Wave momentum was quickly taken away when Edwards broke free on a 93-yard touchdown run moments later to put Destrehan on top 41-20.
“We were talking about it during the game. I just pressed the edge and was able to get to the sideline and turn on the jets,” Edwards said of his long touchdown run.
After a 1-yard touchdown run by Finley, Keller countered with a 25-yard scoring run for Destrehan.
A 13-yard run by Johnson accounted for the 48-34 final.