Destrehan preps for rematch

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013


LAPLACE – Destrehan hasn’t had to sweat much out on the field this season, routinely winning its games by four scores or more. Its 45-14 victory over Dutchtown in Week 3 was no different.
But as a rematch with the Griffins looms in the Class 5A quarterfinals this Friday night, Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux isn’t letting his guard down, nor does he plan to allow his team to.
Led by a new quarterback since then, the Griffins have been on a roll, winning eight of nine games. Dutchtown notched wins over notable 5A playoff squads Rummel, East Ascension and St. Amant before regular season’s end, and will host this week’s game fresh off of playoff wins against Woodlawn and Ehret, the latter a 24-13 win on the road.
“I think they’re a better team than when we played them earlier this season,” said Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux. “Now, at the same time, you’d hope that we’re better than we were at that time.’
“But it’s a whole different game, and we have to understand that going in. There’s a lot at stake. You throw that first game completely out.”
Destrehan (11-1) took a 17-7 lead into halftime in the first meeting, then scored 21 third quarter points to all but put things away against a run-first Griffins team not built to play catch up.
“We were fortunate to get out ahead of them early. We made them change their game plan,” said Robicheaux. “But if we don’t jump out ahead, that might have been a much different game.”
Brandt Fritchie has supplanted Patrick Thompson as starting quarterback since then. Fritchie brings more of a vertical element to the Dutchtown (10-2) attack, primarily a passer versus a runner in Thompson. Fritchie passed for three touchdowns in last week’s win over Ehret, while lead tailback Kejuan Coleman rushed 28 times for 130 yards.
Fritchie has been able to find playmakers Terrance Mosley, an Arkansas commitment, and Cameron Joshua. Joshua hauled in two touchdown receptions last week while Mosely caught the other.
“He gets it into their hands, and those guys are pretty dangerous,” said Robicheaux. “When you see a team make a change like that, go from run-first to more of a passer back there, then it’s always going to change the dynamic of what you’re doing defensively.”
Robicheaux said the one constant he hopes to see from that first contest is his team’s play up front.
“They’ve got a lot of good players offensively. I thought the difference, for us, was we won up front. We did a good job on the line of scrimmage,” said Robicheaux.
The No. 5 Griffins have never played beyond the quarterfinal round.
Destrehan is seeking a return to the state semifinals for the first time since 2008, when it defeated Central 21-14 to advance to the Superdome.
There, DHS bested West Monroe 14-3 to earn a second consecutive state championship and its 29th straight win.
Destrehan quarterback Donovan Isom has thrown 32 touchdown passes and just two interceptions this season, including the playoffs. Will Mathews has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.  He’ll also hurt teams in the passing game. Mathews caught two touchdown passes in the opening round win over Terrebonne. Alfred Smith, Kirk Merritt and John Williams lead a deep and talented receiving corps in the Destrehan spread attack.