Jamborees jumpstart season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 7, 2002


DESTREHAN – Like Thursday night’s River Parish Jamboree football games, Friday night’s contests were entertaining and competitive.

The opening game saw Riverside Academy take a one-point victory 21-20 in a thrilling game against East St. John High School. The second game of the jamboree saw Destrehan High School cruise to a 21-6 victory over Lutcher High School.

East St. John High School vs. Riverside Academy

With 3:36 left in the game, East St. John High School quarterback Dominick Thomas connected with flanker Reggie Joseph to close the gap to 21-20, but the all-important Point After Touchdown was missed.

“This type of game prepares you for the season,” said Riverside Academy head coach Mickey Roussel. “Look, we are still 0-0. That is how everybody should feel after a jamboree game.”

After neither team could mount an offensive drive during its first possession, East St. John running back Derron Thomas scampered 36 yards down the field to give the Wildcats an early 7-0 lead.

However, that would be the last lead the Wildcats would see.

Eleven plays and 45 yards later, Riverside tied the game when Jared St. Amant ran it in from the six yards out with 4:13 left in the first half.

The key play on the drive was a fourth down and five yards to go completion from quarterback Scott Poirrier to Dexter Falgoust.

Riverside would score one more time before the half ended. After the Rebels intercepted a Thomas pass, Poirrier hit Falgoust from 13 yards out giving them a 13-7 halftime lead.

It seemed to be getting worse for East St. John at the start of the second half. On the second play from scrimmage, Poirrier and Falgoust connected again. This time the 71-yard pass play appeared to break the game open.

The senior quarterback hit Trent Malgrough for the two-point conversion, making the score 21-7 in favor of Riverside.

At the 5:23 mark of the second half, Thomas added another touchdown for the East St. John Wildcats.

Thomas found split end Wayne Guillard from four yards out to pull the Wildcats within seven points.

During the drive, Thomas completed only two of eight passes. Ironically, one pass was for a touchdown and the other was a crucial fourth and 10 completion. “I saw three things that impressed me out there. First was intelligence, second was hard nosed play, and lastly toughness. If those three can be achieved next week and in weeks to come, we will be good,” Roussel said.

Lutcher High School vs. Destrehan High School

The jamboree night cap was competitive but not as close as the preceding game.

Two touchdown passes from Destrehan High School Fighting Wildcats quarterback Demarko Hutchinson paved the way for a 21-6 victory over the Lutcher High School Bulldogs in the finale of the River Parish Jamboree.

Things got off to a bumpy start for Destrehan. The Fighting Wildcats were offsides on a couple of occasions and even fumbled on the opening possession.

“We made some mistakes out there that we won’t be able to make next week,” said Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux.

On third down and inches, Daniel Bickham ran the ball in from four yards out to give Destrehan, the home team, a quick 7-0 lead. However, momentum appeared to swing in the favor of Lutcher High School with about 10 minutes left in the first half.

Safety Jerome Woodland picked off a Hutchinson pass to put the ball at the Fighting Wildcats’ 37-yard line.

A slow, methodical drive ensued for the Bulldogs. The play with the biggest gain was a nine-yard pass from Gerard Michael to Michael Dicharry. With just 16 seconds remaining until halftime, Michael found Gerard Landry in the endzone to cut the home team’s lead to 7-6.

Ellis Hughes kept the drive alive with a five-yard run on fourth down and one yard to go from the Destrehan 17-yard line.

The second half belonged to the Fighting Wildcats.

After Darryl Richard recovered a fumble, Destrehan marched 64 yards in only five plays for the team’s second score.

Hutchinson hit senior Fred Smith from 20 yards out, thus giving the team an eight-point cushion. During the drive, the junior quarterback was 3-4 for 49 yards.

The Fighting Wildcats standout finished with 112 passing yards in the pre-season contest.

With about eight minutes left, Hutchinson and Smith hooked up one more time. This time a 34-yard throw gave Destrehan an insurmountable 21-6 lead.

“We played against an excellent football team that is going to cause a lot of problems for a lot of teams this year,” said Lutcher head coach Tim Detillier. “I do feel good about some of the positives that we can carry over to our opening game against East St. John.”