John Emery scored the game's first touchdown.
John Emery scored the game's last touchdown.
In between Destrehan did just enough to hold off a feisty Hahnville team for a 28-15 win in one of the top rivalry games in the state.
Emery was named the game's Most Valuable Player finishing with close to two hundred total yards (118 rushing, 87 receiving) highlighted by a 64-yard receiving touchdown in the first quarter and a 14-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“It means a lot, it's a blessing”, said Emery. “Especially to go out with a group of guys like this that come out every day and work hard. We took an 'L' last year so to bounce back it feels great, it's a blessing.”
Destrehan jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a 30-yard touchdown strike from J.R. Blood to Carson Rieder. It was one of two touchdown passes from Blood who also connected with Quinton Torbor with a beautifully thrown 63-yard strike in the third quarter.
Blood (11-17, 183 yards, 3 TDs) had a simple answer when asked what was working for the Wildcats offense on this night.
“Everything,” said Blood. “The run game, the pass game, we just had to mix it up, loosen them up and run it down their throat.”
Hahnville came up with big plays starting midway through the first half starting with a 4th-and-goal conversion at the 1-yard line when Jace Myers scored on a rushing touchdown. A John Pearsall interception stopped Destrehan's ensuing drive and a holding penalty on the Wildcats in the end zone led to a safety which cut Destrehan's lead to 14-9. Jha'Quan Jackson returned the ensuing free kick for what would have been a go-ahead touchdown but a holding call brought the play back.
The Tigers did take the lead at 15-14 early in the 3rd quarter on a six-yard touchdown run for Myers, who paced the Hahnville rushing attack with 16 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
Destrehan responded with another drive that featured both the run and the pass. Kyle Edwards (15 carries 95 yards) was the featured on back-to-back carries of over ten yards which led to the 63-yard strike from Blood to Torbor giving the lead back to the Wildcats at 20-15 with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
“I like the way we came back,” said Destrehan coach Stephen Robichaux. “The defense made a lot of big plays in the second half. We had way too many personal fouls, we have to fix that but overall I thought it was a very good effort on our part.
“You got a lot of good players that live in this district that people overshadowed this week with the whole (Hahnville) quarterback situation, but you know what? You got a lot of good players that live in this district and you saw that tonight on both sides.”
The game marked the fourth and final game of a suspension for Hahnville head coach Nick Saltaformaggio who has been replaced by offensive coordinator Mike Silva during that span.
“Our kids gave us everything they had,” said Silva. “With everything our kids have battled through, this was important to them. If you watched the game tonight you saw that it was important to them. We made mistakes early on, we had a chance to get up on them early. I can see the improvement from where we were three weeks ago to where we are now, there's no doubt were getting better. They wore us down in the second half those two big backs are just monsters and they just pounded us and wore us down. (Drew Naquin) is playing better and better at quarterback so whatever happens happens. We're doing a good job, we're doing the best we can right now.”
Naquin was 3-8 passing for 67 yards.
Hahnville senior quarterback Andrew Robison did not suit up for the game even after a Temporary Restraining Order was issued Thursday re-instating his eligibility. Hahnville and St. Charles Public School officials worked with attorneys throughout the day trying to determine the ramifications of possible future sanctions from the LHSAA for playing Robison.
Defensively Destrehan was paced by Dontrell Smith with two interceptions and a fumble recovery and Noah Taliancich who registered a pair of sacks.
The game marked the district opener for both teams as Destrehan improved to 3-1 on the season while Hahnville dropped to 1-3.