The questions surrounding a new offensive approach for Donaldsonville High were apparent in the first week of the season.
The obvious question after a 20-0 loss to Assumption was how many points would the Tigers be able to score moving away from a spread offense in favor of a veer attack that includes looks from a wing-t formation. The answer in the following four games, all Donaldsonville wins, has been plenty — enough to average 37.2 points during that stretch.
With District 9-3A action beginning this week, its been enough to have Donaldsonville cautiously eyeing its chances at challenging preseason favorites St. James and Lutcher.
“St. James is the frontrunner, but I think it will come down to who executes the best and stays focused,” Donaldsonville coach Brian Richardson said. “Its going to be a difficult task, but you don’t hide from it. Every week is a challenge.”
Behind first-year offensive coordinator Keith Dickerson, the Donaldsonville offense has been building momentum finding ways to increase its output every week. The Tigers followed up a 20-0 win over Port Allen in week 2 with wins over Broadmoor (35-7) and White Castle (42-26). Last week they won their final game before district play in convincing fashion, 52-20 over Class 5A Woodlawn.
Leading the offensive surge for Donaldsonville has been a pair of running backs, Jaquavious Tenner and Raeland Johnson. Tenner has carried 69 times for 398 yards, an average of 8.67 yards per rush, and leads the team with eight touchdowns. Johnson has rushed for 370 yards on 80 carries, and has three rushing scores to go with another receiving.
As a team, the Tigers have averaged 286 yards rushing per game, but have not completely abandoned their passing attack. Quarterback Treveyon Brown has completed 34 of 65 passes for more than 450 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively, Richardson credits coordinator Peter Villa, also in his first season with the Tigers, for utilizing the team’s depth and experience in the secondary.
Trevon Dunn leads the team with 28 tackles and has two interceptions. Josh Collier is second with 25 stops, and returned one of his team-leading three interceptions for a touchdown in the win over Woodlawn. Richardson calls senior Datjuan Harris, who has 16 tackles and an interception, the leader of the defense.
“They’ve been holding us down against the run and the pass,” Richardson said of his secondary. “That’s the strength of our defense.”
The next step for Donaldsonville is its district opener at E.D. White on Friday. The Cardinals, who dropped down from 4A this season, haven’t played Donaldsonville since 2014 when they defeated the Tigers 25-24.
When Richardson looks across the field, he will see a familiar opponent, but also a familiar offensive scheme.
“We’ve had some battles in the past,” Richardson said. “We know what to expect. I think we run similar offenses so it will probably be a deliberate game with a lot of running the ball. We’re just trying to familiarize ourselves with them.”