Destrehan dominates Dutchtown for outright district championship
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 12, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
Can anybody stop the Destrehan Wildcats?
As the Class 5A playoffs are about to begin, 31 other teams are wondering just that about the team that hasn’t lost in almost two years, and looks to be stronger than ever.
Perhaps the loudest statement by the Wildcats to date came on Friday night, as they pounded Dutchtown 42-7 in Destrehan, capturing an outright District 5-5A (previously 6-5A) championship for the second straight year.
“We’re really excited to do it twice. This is one of the toughest districts in the state,” said Destrehan Coach Stephen Robicheaux. “When you begin the season, your goal is to win all your games, and we’ve been able to do that in this district for two straight years.”
The Wildcats (9-0, 5-0) have now won 25 straight games, and enter the postseason with designs on their second consecutive state title.
A Griffins win would have forced a split district championship between the two teams.
Destrehan quarterback Wynrick Smothers accounted for four touchdowns, passing for two and running for two more. He was 9-of-11 for 155 yards through the air.
Henry Lenox did a lot with few touches for the second straight week, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Calvin Ursin and Rufus Porter led the defense — Ursin had four tackles, three for loss, while Porter had seven tackles, two for loss.
Perhaps most impressive about the victory was the way Destrehan stopped the Dutchtown (7-2, 3-2) running game, which has run roughshod over even the top defenses in 5-5A, including East St. John and Hahnville. Destrehan held the Griffins to only 163 yards rushing, and held star running back Eddie Lacy to only 77 of those on 19 carries.
But most importantly, the Wildcats kept the Griffin backs out of the endzone until the fourth quarter — and by then, Destrehan led 42-0.
“It all starts up front, and our defensive line has played very well all year,” said Robicheaux. “This was one of the most complete games I’ve seen our defense play all year.”
Destrehan led 14-0 after the first quarter, with Smothers leading the way via a two touchdown runs of two and five yards.
Contrarily, in the second quarter, it was all about the aerial attack for Smothers — he found Vidal for a 35-yard scoring pass, and then Armstrong from 40-yards away to make it a 28-0 halftime lead for Destrehan.
The game truly became out of reach for Dutchtown after Destrehan’s first drive of the third quarter. It took over seven minutes off the clock, and was capped by a 12 yard scoring run by Lenox.
“That gave them only a quarter and a half to catch up. It took them a out of what they wanted to do,” said Robicheaux.
Lenox capped the DHS scoring with a 58-yard touchdown run to make it 42-0 at the end of the third quarter.
While Destrehan concludes its second straight undefeated regular season, it has accomplished it in a much different fashion than a year ago. While Destrehan had a number of nail biters in district play a season ago — games against East St. John, Hahnville and St. Amant were all decided in overtime or in the late fourth quarter — the Wildcats have beaten their district foes by an average of 29.4 points per game.
Overall, Destrehan has beaten teams on their schedule by 27.8 points per game — a result not expected after the Wildcats lost a plethora of talent to Division 1A schools over the summer.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to play some really good defense this year, and we’ve generated some points on special teams,” says Robicheaux. “So when we get rolling on offense, we’ve been able to break a few games open.”