When Destrehan had to settle for only a single field goal in the Wildcats’ first three drives deep into Hahnville territory last Friday, it set the stage for DHS’ first loss to the rival Tigers in five years.
“We have to get points. That sort of happened to us in the St. Charles game (a 24-8 loss). We have to find a way to finish drives. We haven’t been successful but our kids work extremely hard and practice hard and our coaches do a phenomenal job, we just have to finish drives and we will get it figured out,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said.
After that, Hahnville’s Anthony “Pooka” Williams took over with 226 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He also had two touchdowns called back.
“We had guys at the point of attack but the problem is, other than the one play where they ran the option and we weren’t in place, for the most part we had guys ready to make plays but he was just ‘Pooka.’ He’s a phenomenal athlete. He makes plays that as a coach you try to stop at the point of attack and we were there a few times and he just ad-libbed. That’s what special players do,” Robicheaux said.
Destrehan (2-2 overall, 0-1 in District 7-5A) finds itself in an unusual position. It’s been quite awhile since the Wildcats lost to Hahnville, started 0-1 in league play and had two regular-season losses.
“It’s different but if you look at the power rankings and where things stand right now, we are pretty solid because of the teams we’ve played,” Robicheaux said. “District titles don’t mean as much as they used to. Today, it’s all about power rankings and making sure you are set up for the playoffs. In losing to a Hahnville and losing to St. Charles, you will get a lot of power points. With us beating John Ehret, they will give us a lot of power points. If we can finish 8-2, we still could have a pretty good seeding.”
“Streaks and all that stuff don’t matter to me,” continued Robicheaux. “The only thing that matters to me right now is how we will bounce back. Our kids did a good job of bouncing back after the St. Charles game I think it will be the same this week.”
This week, Destrehan faces a road trip to Thibodaux. The Tigers are 1-3 on the season, including 1-0 in district play, following their 40-6 thumping of H.L. Bourgeois for Thibodaux’s first win of the season.
The Wildcats will be facing a familiar offense when they take on Thibodaux.
“They are a spread offense with a lot of zone read and power flow with the quarterback, so basically the same type stuff we have been seeing,” said Robicheaux.
Thibodaux’s quarterback, Demarcus Mitchell, reminds Robicheaux of a former Destrehan quarterback.
“They have a quarterback that reminds me so much of Donovan Isom. Damarcus Mitchell is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds. He runs the zone read and wants to run over people. He throws the ball real well,” said Robicheaux.
The Tigers are not as big up front as usual, according to Robicheaux.
“They are a group that is athletic up front. They do a good job blocking. Obviously, they want to get the ball to Tanner Guillot and Saharold Holmes. They do a good job running outside and inside,” the Destrehan coach said.
Targets for Mitchell include Tyren Young, Kevon Williams and Shemar Lawson.
Defensively, the Tigers remind Robicheaux of a team Destrehan played earlier in the season.
“They kind of remind me of Ehret up front,” Robicheaux said. “They have some big guys, starting with Darius Richard in the middle. He’s a big ole guy. Melik Guidroz and Tyler Holmes are big guys in the middle that do a good job.
“They actually play their quarterback at linebacker. He’s in and out and they sub for him a little bit, with Derrick Sullivan, Hunter Trosclair and Khalil Brisco are the other linebackers. Sullivan is in the middle when Mitchell’s not in there. They do a good job of flowing to the ball and they are very athletic.”
Williams, Young and Lawson also play in the secondary, joining Joshua Holden, a sophomore.
The Tigers historically have played Destrehan tough in Thibodaux and Robicheaux said he expects nothing this time around as his Wildcats attempt to move beyond the Hahnville game.
“It’s tough. Any game we lose is tough because expectations are always high here. I thought our kid fought hard and all the way to the end. That night, they were better than we were. Our kids understand that. We just have to put it behind us. There is nothing we can do about it and we just have to get better.”