Destrehan overcomes early deficit to dominate again, 48-14

Published 1:07 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

By Lori Lyons
Contributing Writer

Sometimes the mark of a good team is how it responds to a little adversity. Destrehan hasn’t had to do much of that this season – until Friday.
But two turnovers, including quarterback Donovan Isom’s first interception of the season, and an early deficit proved to be just a bit of a speed bump for the Wildcats, who rallied to take a 48-14 victory over Thibodaux.
After falling behind 14-7 with 1:48 remaining in the first quarter, Destrehan scored 41 unanswered points. And Isom didn’t miss a beat, even after throwing his first interception. The Utah commitment completed 19 of 27 passes for 275 yards and five touchdowns to four different receivers. He connected with Kurk Merritt on a 10-yard touchdown to get things started, then threw two to Will Matthews, one to Alfred Smith and, finally, tossed an 80-yard strike to John Williams. Matthews also rushed for a pair of touchdowns.
But it was a shaky start for the Wildcats, who were trying to avoid a letdown after last week’s big win over archrival, Hahnville. Both of Thibodaux’s touchdowns came in the first quarter, both following turnovers. After a six play, 65 yard drive for the first score on the Wildcats’ first possession – a 10-yard pass from Isom to Matthews — Isom was intercepted by Thibodaux’s Victor Bimah at the Destrehan 36. Eight plays later, Donta Johnson scored from 3 yards out to tie the game at 7.
Alfred Smith then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which was recovered by the Tigers’ Amik Robertson at the Destrehan 12. It took Thibodaux three plays to score, with Peyton Bonvillian scoring from 3 yards out to take a 14-7 lead with 1:48 remaining in the first quarter.
Isom gave credit to Bimah, who tipped the ball at the line then stayed with it to make the catch.
“He made a great play,” Isom said. “There’s nothing you can do about that. It didn’t really affect me. I just kept playing and did what I had to do.”
“It was the first time we experienced a lot of mistakes,” Robicheaux said. “The two turnovers and we had a big bust on special teams. But we fought through it. I don’t like it as a coach because you want to play to the best of your ability. But you’ve got to see how you’re going to react. We came out and made mistakes, and we’re not used to doing that. It kind of hurt us in the first half. But we came out and kind of regrouped in the second half. Donovan kind of struggled a little bit, but you know, we scored 48 points so it w wasn’t too bad.”
Thibodaux’s lead proved to be brief, and after that it was all Destrehan.
Brandon Scott set up the Wildcats’ next drive with a 34-yard kickoff return to the Thibodaux 34-yard line. Six plays later, on the first play of the second quarter, Destrehan tied the game at 14 with a 10-yard run by Matthews.
The Tigers could not respond and got stuck at midfield. After the punt, Destrehan put together a 10 play, 68 yard drive capped by a 9-yard pass from Isom to Matthews with 439 remaining in the first half. The Wildcats would never trail again.
Johnson and Bonvillian combined for 68 yards passing and each ran for a touchdown. Johnson rushed for 74 yards.
“The first couple of plays, we didn’t show up like we were supposed to,” said lineback Raejuan Marbley, a Tulane commitment. “We had a couple of busted plays and busted assignments. “We talked on the sideline, a couple of our leaders. We knew we had to get back to where we were, especially coming off the shutout (against Hahnville) last week. We weren’t worried about the letdown. Usually after we go in the lockerroom, we’re like, ‘OK. That game is over. We’ve got to worry about next week.’”