WALKER — Opportunistic play on defense and special teams, some early success in the trick-play department, and the brilliance of Brian Thomas helped keep Walker High School in Friday night's nondistrict matchup for more than three quarters.
Eventually, Destrehan's methodical running game provided late separation.
Kyle Edwards and Razan Keller each surpassed 100 yards rushing, steering the visiting Wildcats to a 48-21 win in Walker.
Destrehan led 34-21 early in the fourth.
"It was a crazy game," Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. "We just battled, battled, battled. We made some mistakes, but up front we were able to move the ball. I think that was the difference."
Coming off a trip to the Class 5A semifinals, eighth-ranked Destrehan (2-0) kept Walker (1-1) from remaining unbeaten under new coach Chad Mahaffey.
Edwards, an Alabama commitment, finished with 104 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He also scored on a 10-yard reception. Keller had 110 yards on 12 carries, keying a late game-sealing drive that ended with quarterback Damarius Jackson's third rushing touchdown.
Those efforts were often overshadowed by Thomas, who caught 10 passes for 270 yards and scored on two early TD passes.
Also, Thomas recovered an onside kick by Bradley Cain on the game's first play.
It was indeed the Thomas show early.
Thomas recovered the onside kick, then scored on the first play from scrimmage on a 34-yard pass from Ethan McMasters. On the following Walker possession, Thomas hauled in an 80-yard score on a double-pass from Aubrey Womack, who caught a lateral in the flat from McMasters before finding Thomas deep.
With less than three minutes gone, Walker led 14-7. The teams would combine for 35 points before the end of the quarter.
"We just didn't get quite enough done, but we battled hard," Walker coach Chad Mahaffey said. "They've got a couple of really good backs, and they just keep coming at you. We did a good job at times. They're a tough matchup athletically. They're good."
Edwards rumbled 53 yards on the final play of the first quarter to give Destrehan a 21-14 lead it would never relenquish.
Still, Walker hung around.
Kobie Moncree intercepted a couple of passes. The Walker defense recovered two fumbles. Noah Cecil blocked a 29-yard field goal try.
Even though Destrehan's first punt did not come until early in the fourth quarter, Walker was still in business before its own miscues kept the Wildcats from making a late push.
McMasters was intercepted by Quincy Brown on an off-balance attempt with 7 minutes left, setting up Destrehan's first fourth-quarter touchdown. Later, Kelvin Lea stripped the ball from running back Demetri Wright and raced 93 yards for the game's final score.