DESTREHAN — Destrehan wasted little time establishing which team was the dominant one in this rivalry.
The Wildcats looked fluid in every aspect of the game, pummeling visiting East St. John 62-25 on Friday night.
“Our defense played exceptional throughout the game,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “This was a high-level game, and we wanted to execute accordingly. We did a lot of good things, and that is all you can hope for.”
East St. John quarterback Marquise Darensbourg was set to make a triumphant return to the school he attended just a year ago. Darensbourg hoped to put on a show at his former school with family members in attendance, but those plans were spoiled early.
Darensbourg finished 21 of 43 for 313 yards. He ran into trouble early and often by turning the ball over five times. Three interceptions and two fumbles later, he joined the rest of his team leaving the stadium with a loss.
“This wasn’t a homecoming for me anymore,” he said. “The intensity of the game was a big factor in our poor play early. I played poorly, but we did some nice things out there once we got settled.”
Instead of Darensbourg, it was Destrehan quarterback Kohen Granier who had the stellar outing. He threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
Destrehan’s Karon Taylor led all rushers with 190 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown.
East St. John opened the second half with back-to-back scores, but the hot streak was extinguished when Destrehan’s Tyler Addison picked off a Darensbourg pass.
Damonte Coxie was on the receiving end of a 15-yard touchdown to cut Destrehan’s lead to 38-13 with 7:28 remaining in the third quarter. Coxie, an LSU commit, was the favorite target of Darensbourg; he hauled in nine receptions for 116 yards.
East St. John first-year coach Alden Foster wanted to see his team make “progress to get better” in the second half.
“This was a different feel for our team since we went down big early,” he said. “We had our chances, but we gave up way too much in the beginning.”
East St. John got on the board with 8:21 left in the third quarter after Arlandrian Martin hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Darensbourg.
Grainer plowed in from a yard out to put Destrehan up 38-0 at halftime. Two drives earlier, he connected with Mike Young for his second touchdown from 35 yards.
Darensbourg coughed up the ball, allowing Destrehan’s Macon Clark to return the fumble 66 yards for a touchdown.
Back-to-back touchdowns put Destrehan up by 17 points early in the first quarter. Running back Kristian Mosley weaved his way through the Wildcats defense for a 12-yard touchdown. Destrehan recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the 28-yard line of East St. John. One play later, Grainer hit a wide-open Young for a 28-yard touchdown.
Destrehan struck first by way of a 28-yard field goal, with 9:41 left in the first quarter. The field goal was setup by a blocked punt attempt by the Wildcats, giving them the ball at the East St. John 11-yard line.