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Leobaux, defense leads Wildcats

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 5, 1998

DESTREHAN – The Destrehan defense held Hahnville to 56 total yards and did not let the Tigers past the 31-yard line as the Wildcats shut out their cross-parish rivals for the first time since 1982, 24-0, Friday night at Destrehan Stadium.

The victory was the third straight in the series for the Wildcats.

Destrehan improved to 3-1 on the season, 2-0 in District 6-5A. Hahnvilledropped its third straight contest since winning its season opener, falling to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in district play.

Karon Leobaux led the Destrehan offense, rushing for 162 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Traun Smith, hobbled by an injury, still managedto gain 67 yards on eight attempts and had a 59-yard touchdown run.

Mitchell Jones added 54 yards and a score on six carries as the Wildcats gained 304 yards, all on the ground.

The first half was a defensive struggle as Destrehan was held to eight first downs and Hahnville one. Leobaux led the way with 90 yards on 13carries.

Destrehan had the first opportunity to score as Jamall Johnson rushing in to block Kerry Fonseca’s punt. Brent Davis returned the block to theHahnville 30-yard line. But on the first play after the block, Smithfumbled and Josh Fiffie recovered for the Tigers.

Hahnville got its best scoring opportunity of the half two possessions later after taking over at the Destrehan 42-yard line. After an illegalmotion pushed the Tigers back, Dawan Landry connected with Mark Young for a 10-yard gain to the 34. Fonseca came in to try a 51-yard field goalbut had it sail left of the goal posts.

Destrehan took over at its 20-yard line and began a drive that would carry 80 yards in 12 plays, taking up 4:09 of the clock. Wendell Smith scrambledfor 8 yards to pick up the initial first down of the game with two minutes left in the quarter. Jones then swept left and went down the left sidelinesfor a 33-yard gain to the Hahnville 35-yard line.

As the second quarter opened, Destrehan faced a third-and-19 from the 44.

Leobaux picked up 14 yards on a sweep and then went over left tackle for 14 more to the 16 to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Leobaux wentin from 12 yards out for the score. Ricky Rodriguez’s extra point waswide, leaving the score at 6-0 with 10:32 left.

Two possessions later, Traun Smith returned a punt to the 20-yard line and a face masking penalty against the Tigers brought it to the 35.

Leobaux then took over, gaining 6, 8, 9 and 6 yards on four straight carries. Traun Smith then swept right for 9 yards and a first down. An 8-yard gain by Leobaux brought the ball to the 18-yard line. Two plays later,Jones scored an apparent touchdown up the middle but had the play called back due to a motion penalty. But Rodriguez kept momentum on Destrehan’sside, hitting a 32-yard field goal from the right hash mark as time expired to give the Wildcats a 9-0 halftime lead.

Shelby Boyle, making his first start in the Hahnville backfield with the injury to Rafael Joseph, came out of the locker room by gaining 14 yards and then carried for seven yards. Three more runs by Boyle gave the Tigersa first down at the 31. But after a sack by Jermone Sampson, Jermain Foxrushed in to block Fonseca’s 53-yard field goal attempt.

Destrehan took over at its 24-yard line and Leobaux immediately gained 11 yards. Two more carries by Leobaux brought the ball to the 41-yardline. Traun Smith then swept left, broke through a hole, went down thesidelines and out-raced Karone Champagne to the end zone. Rodriguez’sextra point was good, bringing the lead to 16-0 with 5:57 left in the third quarter.

Destrehan again drove down the field on its next possession behind its rushing attack. The Wildcats went 69 yards in 10 plays, using up 4:19 ofthe clock. Leobaux gained 53 yards on the drive, including a 23-yard sweepto the Hahnville 17-yard line. Four plays later, Jones swept 4 yards forthe score. Wendell Smith then swept left for the two-point conversion,increasing the lead to 24-0 with 11:35 left.

Boyle led the Tigers with 61 yards on 17 carries. Landry, making his firststart, completed 3-of-9 passes for 18 yards. Davis intercepted one passand the Wildcats sacked Landry five times for 26 yards in losses.

Destrehan heads out on the road for the first time this season, traveling to Central Lafourche. Hahnville is also on the road at Thibodaux.

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