Destrehan (4-1) competes amid high expectations

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 9, 2019

DESTREHAN – When it comes to football, expectations are always high at Destrehan High School.

So when the Wildcats lost a 31-24 decision to St. James on Sept. 27, it did not sit well with Coach Stephen Robicheaux.

“Even when you lose to what I think is a very, very good St. James team, we had a chance to win it, but you lose and it’s something that you hope to learn from it,” Robicheaux said. “We learned a lot about our kids. We could have laid it down when we were down 31-10.”

Not these Wildcats. They rallied to pull to within a touchdown but couldn’t connect on a Hail Mary pass at the end.

Last week, Robicheaux learned that his team could bounce back from such a loss. The Wildcats went to Houma and handled H.L. Bourgeois, 40-7, in their District 7-5A opener. Destrehan, now 4-1, put up all of its points in the first half and did not allow the Braves a single first down in the first half. Robicheaux then cleared the bench for the second half.

He had to pluck one from the bench early, too. Starting quarterback Damarius Jackson missed last week’s game due to a sprained ankle. In his place was another youngster but with a familiar name – Jai Eugene Jr., the son of former Wildcat and LSU Tiger Jai Eugene Sr. He finished 9-for-9 for 100 yards with one touchdown passing and another rushing.

“He played really well in Damarius’ absence,” Robicheaux said. “He’s going to be a really good football player.”

Robicheaux did not yet know if Jackson would be able to return for this week’s game against Terrebonne, or if Eugene would have to fill in again.

Of course, the Wildcats still have their not-so-secret weapon in running back Kyle Edwards, an Alabama commitment. Edwards opened last week’s game with a 90-yard kickoff return then scored twice more – all in the first half.

Robicheaux said he believes his team has put the loss to St. James behind them, just as last year’s team did following the loss to John Ehret.

“We’re in the same position we were last year,” Robicheaux said. “We’re OK. There’s still a lot of football left to play and we have a lot of good football left in us.”