ESJ Takes Stock After DHS Gets Away

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016

RESERVE — East St. John High School football coach Aldon Foster said he tossed and turned all weekend long trying to figure out what went wrong.

It didn’t end with the weekend.

“I’m still doing it,” Foster said after Monday’s football practice.

For three quarters Friday night, Foster’s Wildcats had the Destrehan Wildcats on the ropes. East St. John jumped to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter and had Destrehan scrambling through the third.

Then things started to go wrong. There was a botched punt and a pair of interceptions down the stretch, which led to a 39-20 win for Destrehan.

“We just didn’t put them away,” Foster said. “We kind of got off track and missed a few plays.”

Foster said his team had a good plan.

“We watched them against John Ehret and we had played Ehret, so we had a common opponent,” Foster said. “We had a plan and the kids believed in the plan.”

Using wide receiver C.J. Turner as a decoy, East St. John was able to sneak Javon Antonio into the open field. It also helped that former Destrehan quarterback Marquise Darensbourg was able to start and play the whole game despite a nagging shoulder injury.

It’s been a rough road to 2-4 for East St. John, as the team lost, first,  its staring quarterback, Darensbourg, then his replacement Shayhan Williams to a torn ACL.

That left the sophomore, Dasmain “Duke” Williams, who has filled in very capably.

Still, Foster was happy to see his starter back under center.

“He played the whole game,” Foster said. “He had a decent game. He’s going to get stronger. He probably won’t be 100 percent the rest of the year, but he’ll be OK.”

Foster said Friday’s game, even though it resulted in a loss, will help build the team’s confidence.

“We’re going to take first three and a half quarters from that game and build on that,” Foster said. “One thing we do take from it is, if we play the way we played against them, one of the best programs in the state, we can play with anybody in the state.”

But, Foster added, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

The Wildcats have to get ready for Hahnville, and  trips to Terrebonne and Central Lafourche. ESJ hosts Franklin  Oct. 28.

The Wildcats are hoping for a 6-4 finish to secure a playoff berth. The team missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2001.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Foster said.