Destrehan rolls to victory again, shuts out Terrebonne 44-0

Published 3:44 am Saturday, November 16, 2013

By Lori Lyons
Contributing Writer

DESTREHAN – About midway through Friday night’s bi-district playoff game between Destrehan and Terrebonne, a mixture of Mississippi River fog and barbeque smoke from the concession stands began to obscure Destrehan’s football field. But by then the outcome of the game was perfectly clear.

The No. 4 seeded Wildcats (10-4) routed No. 29 seed Terrebonne 44-0 to advance to next week’s regional round. Destrehan will play host to No. 13 Ruston, which defeated Natchitoches Central 35-7.

This was the second meeting of these District 7-5A foes this season. Destrehan defeated Terrebonne 42-17 on Sept. 27 in a game Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said was “not a Destrehan game.” This time the Wildcats scored on every possession except the last two when they ran the victory formation, rolled up 468 yards of offense, held Terrebonne to 158 yards and nine first downs and blocked a punt for a safety.

“I thought we played a lot better,” Robicheaux said.

Perhaps more importantly, it was Destrehan’s first playoff victory since 2008, the year the Wildcats last won the Class 5A state championship under Robicheaux. He left after the 2009 season, in which the Wildcats finished 5-6 with a bi-district loss.

“It’s special,” Robicheaux said. “These kids, it’s been a long time since they’ve been in the playoffs. They’ve worked so hard and came out here and got it done.”

While the once-promising Tigers (5-6) have been decimated by unfortunate injuries this season, Destrehan was at nearly full force – and it showed. Senior quarterback Donovan Isom was 20 of 28 passing for 278 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw one interception – his second of the season – to Terrebonne’s Quinn Malbrough. But Isom, who has committed to play for Utah, shrugged it off.

“I threw the ball kind of high,” Isom said. “I should have brought it down some. I’m going to correct that during practice. You can’t worry about it. You’ve got to keep going.”

 Although he utilized all of his weapons, Isom’s main target was Alfred Smith, who caught 12 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown. Kurk Merritt caught one touchdown pass. Running back Will Matthrews had 11 carries for 85 yards.

“I had a hard week at practice,” Smith said. “If you stay focused at practice, it plays out for the game.”

Terrebonne did all it could to keep the Wildcats off the field – including going for it on fourth-and-inches at the Destrehan 48 on its first possession. Tigers quarterback Colby Stewart was dropped for a loss, however, and Destrehan took over at the Tigers 48. From there it took the Wildcats only six plays to score. After Isom connected for 15 yards to John Williams and 25 yards to Merric, Matthews ran the rest of the way, including a 13-yard touchdown with 6:15 remaining in the first quarter.

After a 53-yard punt by Terrebonne’s Travis Manor, Destrehan began its next drive at its own 34. But on second down, Isom connected with Williams over the middle for a 63 yard gain. Matthews got the Wildcats to the 3 then Isom ran it in for a 14-0 lead with 1:51 remaining in the first quarter.

<p class=”ecxMsoNormal”>Terrebonne put together a nine-play drive from its own 20, but on third and five at the Destrehan 16, Stewart was sacked and lost the ball to Destrehan’s Mike McGee. The Wildcats took 12 plays to drive from their own 21 to Terrebonne’s 8. From there Isom threw to Matthews for the score with 7:10 remaining in the first half.

Terrebonne again turned the ball over on downs at the Destrehan 46 with 2:43 remaining. But after an incompletion, Isom’s next pass was intercepted by Malbrough. The Tigers couldn’t move the ball, however. Manor was set up to punt from his own 19-yard line when Destrehan’s Brandon Scott broke through the line to block it. The ball rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety, giving Destrehan a 23-0 lead with 1:24 remaining in the first half.

After the kick, Destrehan drove 59 yards on five plays with Isom throwing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Merritt with 28 seconds remaining to give Destrehan a 30-0 lead.

Terrebonne squibbed the second half kickoff, which Destrehan recovered at its own 44-yard line. The Wildcats needed five plays to score, with Isom throwing to Matthews for a 5-yard touchdown with 10:01 to play.

The Wildcats would get one more score with 4:42 remaining when Isom threw to Smith for a 12-yard touchdown.

With seven plays for negative yardage, Stewart finished with 36 yards rushing. He completed two passes for 21 yards. Justin Theriot rushed for 99 yards on 18 carries.