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Destrehan looks to clinch against Tigers

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 28, 1998

DESTREHAN – Destrehan head coach Scott Martin said that before the season, everybody would be out to knock down the two-time defending district champion Wildcats.

Destrehan has been knocked down the past two weeks, falling behind to both East St. John and South Lafourche, but neither team was able todeliver a knockout blow. The Wildcats emerged standing and can deliver aknockout blow of their own this week at Terrebonne, with a win clinching a third straight district championship.

Destrehan enters the game with a 6-1 overall record and a 5-0 mark in District 6-5A. The Wildcats own the tiebreaker with its nearestcompetitor, Central Lafourche (5-2, 4-1), which they beat three weeks ago. Terrebonne, coming off a 34-8 victory against H.L. Bourgeois, is tiedfor third with a 3-2 record in district and 6-2 overall.

For the second straight week, unheralded Destrehan quarterback Wendell Smith led the comeback against South Lafourche. The Wildcats’ potentoffense was held to 27 yards in the first half, 24 of which came on a run by Mitchell Jones. But trailing 7-0 heading into the fourth quarter, Smithguided the Wildcats to three scores, connecting with Danny Krieger on two touchdown passes and scoring on a 5-yard run. Traun Smith broke throughfor 86 yards on 15 carries in the game.

Destrehan’s defense also rose to the occasion after allowing 123 yards rushing in the first half. South Lafourche finished with 243 yards, onlyfour of which came through the air. The Wildcats also picked off a pass,recovered two fumbles and stopping the Tarpons on fourth down at the Destrehan 47-yard line with three minutes left in the game.

Terrebonne is one of the surprise teams after being predicted to finish the second half of the district. Leading the resurgence is a defense, burnedoften last year, but that has allowed just over 14 points per game this season. That defense is led by two juniors defensive back Nick Kennedyand Keith Hatch. Senior defensive end Nelson Harris, defensive tackleWayne Johnson and defensive back Carvell Scott provide support.

On offense, the Tigers are led by Claude Johnson, one of the best running backs in the district. The passing combination of Tory Brown and AltonDiggs will look to take some pressure off Johnson.

Coincidentally, Destrehan clinched its second straight district title with a 35-14 victory over Terrebonne a year ago. In that game, the Wildcatsgained 347 yards on the ground. Russell Bickham gained 157 yards, TraunSmith added 101 and Kerry Wilson contributed 65.

Destrehan closes out its season next week on the road at H.L. Bourgeois.Terre-bonne travels to Hahnville.

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