Heading into the season, Destrehan knew it was loaded with capable receivers. The question was, would the Wildcats find a quarterback to fill the mammoth shoes of the graduated Donovan Isom.
If Friday night’s scrimmage against Salmen is any indication, the answer is an unqualified yes — and perhaps more than one.
Destrehan’s first-team offense, led by sophomore first-year starter Marquise Darensbourg, outscored Salmen’s first-team defense 21-6 on alternating series play, then scored three more times on goal line offense. He threw a 31-yard touchdown to standout wide receiver Kirk Merritt and a 70-yard strike to John Williams. Kohen Granier threw a 60 yard pass to Jerrel Clay.
Salmen’s lone touchdown came on a 70-yard pass from Mike Passaro to Tyrone Jones.
“It’s a good measuring stick,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “We always love to play Salmen. Whenever you come up and go toe-to-toe with them you’ve got to get excited. That’s what we’re looking for. And I thought our kids played up to the challenge. The big thing I was excited about was, not a lot of penalties. The kids kept their composure and did some things well.”
But Robicheaux said he was most pleased to see Darensbourg handle himself well for the first time as a starter.
“I thought Marquise did a good job for the first time under the lights,” he said. “If he continues to play and get better and get the ball into our playmakers’ hands, we might win a few ballgames.”
Salmen coach Jerry Leonard knew his team would have its hands full with Destrehan, a Class 5A semifinalist last season.
“We’ve been going against them for ages,” Leonard said. “We know what they’re all about. We tried to tell our guys that the speed of the game was going to be so much different, and that’s the main adjustment we tried to make.
“I think in the first series, we had a hard time adjusting then, gradually, we settled down a little bit and were able to make some plays. It’s never as good as you think or as bad as you think. We’re just trying to find some things we need to work on.
“We’re small in numbers. And we have a lot of young guys playing. It’s hard for us to simulate that kind of speed. We’ve got some clean up to do.”