Destrehan High School utilized a more balanced offensive attack en route to an impressive 48-7 victory over Helen Cox on Friday night.
The Wildcats relied heavily on their run game (336 yards) in their 47-7 season-opening victory over West Jefferson, but made a concerted effort to show balance in their high-speed offensive attack during the first half of Friday’s game.
Destrehan’s sophomore quarterback Marquise Darensbourg went 9-of-13 for 154 yards and added 42 rushing yards and three total touchdowns before being removed — along with the rest of the Destrehan starters — at halftime.
Running back Will Matthews followed up his 160-yard, three-touchdown performance last week with 70 total yards and two touchdowns in one half Friday night.
“We moved the ball, scored pretty well and I was happy with what we did,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “We need to be more multiple and more balanced. I think we did a good job of that tonight.”
Destrehan, the No. 4 team in the New Orleans Advocate Large School Super 10, started the game out extremely efficient on the offensive end. The first two drives for the Wildcats offense went 73 and 61 yards, respectively, and they needed less then two minutes to end each drive with touchdowns.
Darensbourg’s 38-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kirk Merritt on the first play of the second quarter gave Destrehan a commanding 21-0 lead early in the game. Helen Cox could never quite recover from that point.
“(Darensbourg) is growing every snap and every practice,” said Merritt, who finished with three catches for 66 yards and a kick return for touchdown to go along with his touchdown catch. “He’s developed so much from the offseason to now. He just keeps growing and we try to help him grow his confidence at practice during the week.”
Robicheaux believes said Darensbourg is coming along well in his second start at quarterback for the Wildcats and added, “He’s got to mature and get better every week and he’s doing that. He made some great passes tonight.”
Helen Cox started the game off with a lengthy 13-play drive that stalled once a botched snap and a sack on third and long took the Cougars out of scoring position. Quarterback Dion Ray’s mobility appeared to give the Destrehan defense trouble early in the game, but they adjusted and kept him under wraps for the most part after the first few drives.
“He’s a heck of a player,” Robicheaux said of Ray, who finished with 201 yards of total offense on the night. “Our defense was bending but we ended up making some big plays.”