Destrehan routs East Jefferson

Published 3:54 am Saturday, September 7, 2013

By Lori Lyons
Contributing Writer

After a disappointing 2012 season, the Destrehan Wildcats are determined to deliver a message in 2013.
West Jefferson got it loud and clear, Friday night, on the receiving end of a 54-21 thumping in the season-opener.
And it was Detrehan senior quarterback Donovan Isom who did move of the delivering. Utilizing a bevy of the many weapons at his disposal, Isom was 12 of 13 for 255 yards and five touchdowns, plus he ran for another score. The Utah commitment connected with six different receivers, throwing touchdown passes to four. Kurk Merrit had two catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Tremaine Armstrong caught a 29-yard touchdown. John Williams and Karon Taylor each caught touchdown passes of 9 yards. Alfred Smith did not score, but had four catches for 87 yards. Place kicker Cameron Walsh kicked six PATs and a 20-yard field goal. Kyler LaGrange kicked a 37-yard field goal that capped the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Running back Will Mathews accounted for most of the Wildcats 235 rushing yards. He finished with 111 yards on eight carries, including a 51-yard touchdown.
“My offensive line just opened the holes,” Mathews said. “They’re more aggressive. I love my O-line. They told me to follow them and I did what I had to do. They opened holes a truck could drive through.
Isom said the team is determined to put last year behind them.
“We remember what happened last year,” he said. “We just said never again.”
Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux, who returned to lead the team last year after a two-year hiatus, said Friday night’s season-opener was a good start.
“Offensively, I’ve never had a team play like this this early in the season,” Robicheaux said. “These guys baffle me. After what we did in the jamboree and then coming out here tonight and scoring like this. Defensively, we gave up a few plays and obviously we need to work on that. But we have a lot of weapons. And if Donovon keeps playing the way he’s playing, it should be a pretty good bunch.”
The Wildcats scored on every possession but the last, and began kneeling on the ball with more than three minutes left to play. They rolled up 490 yards of offense to West Jefferson’s 273.
The Buccaneers best defense proved to be their offense – even when they couldn’t score. Quarterback Chavin Gougis passed for 179 yards and two touchdowns on the night and rushed for 46 yards. He connected with Ivory Jenkins on a 53-yard pass and with Kevin Cayton on a 22-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Niguel Veal also scored on a 2-yard run.
West Jefferson showed it could move the ball at times, just not as quickly as Destrehan. The Wildcats had the ball a total of 25 plays and seven minutes in the first half, during which they scored six touchdowns and a field goal. In the first half alone, Destrehan’s drives were of 2, 3, 5, 4, 4 and 7 plays.
And Wildcats fans had barely taken their first bites of jambalaya when the scoring got started.
After Mathews dashed for 34 yards on the first play from scrimmage, Isom connected with Merrit for a 20 yard touchdown on the second play. That took all of 19 seconds.
West Jefferson took over and held the ball for 4:05, but could not cross midfield. After a punt, the Wildcats started their second drive at their own 20. This time they needed three plays and only 40 seconds to score. Isom scampered for 19 yards on the first play, passed to Mathews for 10 yards on the second, then Mathews broke free for a 51-yard touchdown run on the third play.
After another Buccaneers drive went nowhere, Destrehan made it 21-0 with 3:10 remaining in the first quarter. This time the Wildcats took five plays and 1:35 to score. Isom was dropped for no gain on the first play of this drive, but on the second he connected with Alfred Smith for a 48-yard gain to the West Jeff 20. Mathews was stopped for no gain on first down, but on second down Williams got to the 9. Then Isom found Karon Taylor for the touchdown.
West Jefferson finally got a drive together at the end of the first quarter and into the second. After a short pass and a run by Gougis, Niguel Veal broke free for an impressive run of 46 yards to the Destrehan 28. Three plays into the second quarter, Veal took a direct snap and ran left for the score. Gougis then passed to Houston for the 2-point conversion.
Destrehan would score three more times before then end of the half. With 9:06 remaining, Isom passed to Williams for a 9-yard touchdown that put Destrehan ahead 28-8.
With 6:36 remaining, Isom scored himself on a 16-yard keeper to make it 34-8.
After a stalled drive and a short punt gave the Wildcats a short field, Isom threw to Armstrong for a 29-yard pass with 3:49 remaining in the half.
Then West Jeff answered. After a 15-yard pass from Gougis to Houston , then a 12-yard pass to Veal, Gougis threw to Ivory Jenkins, who ran up the sideline for a 53-yard touchdown with 2:52 remaining. Gougis threw to Veal for the 2-point conversion that made it 41-16.
Destrehan held the ball the rest of the quarter, driving to the West Jefferson 2 to set up Walsh’s first field goal that gave Destrehan a 44-16 halftime lead.
Destrehan would score only one touchdown in the second half, and it was a big one. West Jefferson drove to the Destrehan 36-yard line, but stalled and turned the ball over on downs with 8:03 to play in the third quarter. After Mathews took a short loss, Isom threw his only incompletion of the game. But he made up for it on the next play, connecting with Merrit for a 64-yard touchdown pass that put the Wildcats ahead 51-16 with 7:17 remaining in the quarter.
West Jefferson responded with a four-play, 60-yard drive that showed some weariness in the Destrehan defense. On first-and-10 at the Destrehan 22, Gougis threw to Cayton for a 22-yard touchdown with 5:14 to play.
Destrehan maintained possession for the remainder of the quarter and the start of the fourth. With 8:48 remaining, LaGrange was called in to kick a 37-yard field goal that capped the scoring.