Coming into the state championship game against Acadiana High School, Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux knew his squad would have to play nearly mistake-free football to dethrone the defending Class 5A state champions.
But three first-half interceptions by the quarterback duo of Marquise Darensbourg and Kohen Granier thwarted multiple offensive threats for the Wildcats in a 23-7 loss to the Wreckin’ Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
A Destrehan offense that averaged 43.2 points in its first four playoff games and hadn’t scored less than 21 points all year never got on track against one of the tougher defenses in the state in Ted Davidson’s squad.
Charles Campbell, Jayrin Wilson and Javonte Edmond all had interceptions for Acadiana in the first half.
The three turnovers, along with five penalties and a failed fourth-down attempt had the Wildcats down at the half 14-7. That was in spite of stats which had Destrehan running 41 plays to Acadiana’s 17, outgaining the Rams 168 to 109 and Destrehan holding the ball for nearly 11 more minutes in the first half than the Rams.
For the game, the Wildcats outgained Acadiana 325-274 and ran 24 more plays 67-43.
Down 17-7, the Wildcats also failed to convert another possession into points when Randy Harvey’s 40-yard field goal was short and wide left. The Rams immediately answered with a six-play drive that spanned 74 yards and concluded with a 29-yard field goal by Brodie Fontenot — his second of the game — to make it 20-7 Rams.
The final nail in the coffin came with 4:06 to go in the game down 23-7 when the Wildcats couldn’t convert a fourth down inside the Acadiana 10-yard line. The Wildcats got one more chance inside the Rams 15-yard line, but again couldn’t convert on fourth down.
Crediting his team’s effort throughout the game against a tough Acadiana squad, Robicheaux shouldered the blame for his team’s early mistakes.
“I’m proud of our kids,” he said. “They did a tremendous job for us all year long and played hard in every game, including this one. You just can’t come out against a good Acadiana team like we did and have the kind of turnovers that we had early in the game. We couldn’t score in the red zone. (Acadiana) also hit us with some pretty big passes. They were the better team tonight.
“I don’t want to blame the game on the three early interceptions, because we were still in the game at the half only down seven points. We just didn’t get the done,” he said.
“I thought we could have done a better job calling the game, but that is on me. I have to do a better job of getting my team ready.”