All was going pretty much according to the script for Destrehan and Slidell on Friday.
The Wildcats, ranked No. 9 statewide in Class 5A, had established their offensive dominance in the first half and added a crushing 40-yard fumble return by C.J. Prieto to go up 26-0 four minutes in the third quarter.
But that’s when Slidell flipped the script and almost played the biggest spoiler of the first week of the season.
Using their own aggressiveness and Destrehan’s mistakes, the Tigers scored three straight touchdowns, the last on Kyron Smith’s 80-yard run that left them only three points behind with 8:09 left.
The home team got one more chance but wound up having to punt, and the Wildcats got a late TD run by Karon Taylor to wind up with a 33-23 victory at McGinty Stadium.
“We got a little lax,” said Destrehan senior wide receiver John Williams. “We can’t let something like this happen again.
“We’ll get back to practice Monday and learn to do our assignments better. We’re glad we came out with a win in this one.”
And Slidell, although coming up on the short end, found something to build on.
“We don’t believe in moral victories,” Slidell coach Larry Favre said. “But we’re trying to establish a belief system here, and our kids demonstrated that belief system tonight.
“We were playing to win right until the end.”
Destrehan coach Steve Robicheaux agreed.
“My hat’s off to Larry and his team,” he said. “We got out ahead a little bit, but they kept coming back at us.
“At least in the end, when we needed it, we did what we needed to go.”
Destrehan punter Will Sirmon penned the Tigers at their 1 with 6:39 left. A pass interference call, one of six penalties committed by the Wildcats in the second half, got Slidell to its 20. But three more plays netted only 6 yards and Favre, after considering going for it, punted to the Destrehan 39.
Four plays later, Taylor ran for the clinching TD.
Wildcats coach Steve Robichaux has said Granier has the “it” factor. And early on he showed it, completing 12 of his first 14 passes, including a 21-yarder to Justin Jefferson for Destrehan’s only touchdown of the first half.
Granier would finish 14 of 20 for 203 yards.
But the Wildcats twice had to settle for Hunter Breit field goals in the first half, the last after two end zone deflections by Slidell’s Matthew LaFerrara.
That was enough for a 13-0 halftime lead, and a 12-yard run by Chad Serrano plus Prieto’s fumble recovery doubled the lead early in the third.
Slidell scored on a 5-yard run by freshman Tito Simmons and used an onside kick to set up Smith’s 1-yard run.