Even with those around the program wanting to look ahead, week after week, Destrehan coach Marcus Scott stressed the current game was the most important of the season because it was the one about to be played.
Now, it’s finally here.
The always highly-anticipated Destrehan-Hahnville game has finally arrived when the rivals meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Boutte.
“It is here,” said Scott, who is in his first year as Destrehan head coach. “It’s a special rivalry. I’ve been fortunate enough in my time as a player and coach to be associated with some of the better rivalries in the state with Jesuit-Holy Cross, West Jeff-Ehret, even Nicholls-Southeastern. This is one I am definitely looking forward to.”
It’s also one of those throw-the-records out type game.
“It reminds me a lot of the rivalry at Ehret and West Jeff. There is a lot of cousins playing cousins and a lot of people who grew up around each other playing each other. It’s always competitive. It’s definitely a special rivalry,” Scott said.
For the record, Destrehan is 6-1 overall and 5-0 in District 7-5A. Hahnville is 5-2 overall and 4-1 in district. That means, as is usually the case when the teams meet, the league title is on the line.
Directing Hahnville’s high-scoring offense is senior quarterback Andrew Naquin.
“We played against him a couple of years ago when I was at Ehret. He got into the game and got a couple of snaps and he showed promise then. I thought he was a good player then and he has progressed well throughout his high school career,” said Scott.
Naquin has numerous targets, including the likes of senior Corey Lorio, sophomore Dakota Williams, and junior Troy Kendrick
“The receivers are a good group. Two of those guys are underclassmen, so they have a bright future. They definitely can make plays,” Scott said.
Hahnville’s top runner is senior Trey LaBranch
“LaBranch is a guy that can run it inside, he can run it outside. He’s also a threat in the screen game. He’s a guy that can run away from you and make you miss,” said Scott.
Coming on strong as of late is junior Cole Villasenor.
“He has a burst,” Scott said. “He jumps off the screen as somebody who can really run. He’s definitely capable of making big plays.”
Anchoring the offensive line is 6-foot-4, 345-pound Reginald Pierre.
“He’s hard to miss,” said Scott. “He’s physical. He has good feet for a man his size.”
The strength of a young Hahnville defense, Scott said, is the defensive front.
“Cinsere Simmons really stands out. He’s has a great get-off. He’s very active,” said Scott.
The Tigers give opponents a variety of looks on defense, according to Scott.
“They give you some odd front and some even front. They have the ability to play man-to-man and zone coverage,” said Scott.
Destrehan has averaged 42.5 points per game in district play. Only once is league play as the Wildcat defense allowed more than seven points. That came in a 31-12 win over East St. John.
Meanwhile, Hahnville has averaged 44.2 points per game in district play. A young Tiger defense has allowed 27.6 in league outings.
Do those numbers suggest a high-scoring affair?
“You never know in a game like this. Things that you see on paper and the statistics, can all be thrown out. I want to see just as much as everybody else what kind of game it ends up being,” Scott said.