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Sanderson Farms Louisiana High School Game of the Month: St. Paul's vs. Destrehan

Destrehan remains undefeated with 27-6 win

By David Folse, Contributing writer

A small rain shower two hours prior to kickoff may have cooled things down for the fans in the stands Friday night, but it certainly didn't cool down one of the best high school football teams in the state of Louisiana.

Behind a dominating defensive effort, Destrehan remained unbeaten on the season after a 27-6 win over St. Paul's in the Saints/Sanderson Farms Louisiana High School Game of the Month in St. Charles Parish.

With both teams trading punts in the third quarter, the Wildcats, who began the third quarter with a 13-0 advantage, were finally able to make it a three-touchdown affair when senior quarterback Damarius Jackson found Quincy Brown for a 23-yard scoring strike, his third passing touchdown, to make it 20-0. The duo hooked up again on Destrehan's next possession, this time for a 70-yard scoring strike to put the game out of reach at 27-0.

That would be more than enough for a dominating Destrehan defense, which limited St. Paul's to 127 yards of total offense, with its lone score coming in the fourth quarter when Grant Billson found Mitchell Smith for a 52-yard touchdown.

"Every day the coaches and players just preach 11 guys on the field to do their job every single play," Destrehan senior defender Noah Taliancich said. "Every guy on that field plays for every teammate. But we can be better. We played well but until we start shutting teams out consistently, I know that there are still things this defense can get better at.

"St. Paul's is a ground-and-pound, old-school kind of team. When we took it to them on the line, they become one-dimensional. Games are like this are fun for the defense because we played an important part of our victory. We expect to play well every game we play on both sides of the ball."

The Wildcats, who have won two state championships (2007-2008) and played for another in 2014 under legendary coach Stephen Robicheaux, notched their 10th consecutive regular season victory, dating to last season. Dating to the 2014 season, Destrehan has lost a total of three regular season games, notching an impressive winning percentage of 94.2 (49-3).

Destrehan looked impressive early in the contest against the Wolves, scoring on its first possessions of the game.

Relying on a high-powered, short-range passing attack, Jackson led the Wildcats on a seven-play drive to open the game, finding Joseph Washington in the end zone for a 25- yard scoring strike to make it a 7-0 advantage.

Stopping St. Paul's on fourth down on its first possession, Washington again led the Wildcats down the field, this time going 66 yards in 13 plays, culminating in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Bullock. A missed extra point made it 13-0.

What looked like it would be a shootout early turned into a defensive battle for the remainder of the first half. St. Paul's was able to keep Destrehan from scoring the rest of the half, but struggled to mount any sort of attack of its own, being held to three first downs in the first half and 51 total yards of offense.

Destrehan hits the road next week to take on St. James, while the Wolves return home to the friendly confines of Hunter Stadium on the north shore to begin District 6-5A play against rival Slidell. The Wolves will be looking to avenge a 35-28 defeat last season at the hands of the Tigers, their first loss to Slidell since the 2004 season.

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