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Destrehan pulls away from Thibodaux in 48-14 win


DESTREHAN — Thibodaux got a few breaks and kept things close early, but Destrehan simply had too much firepower and too much defense, and the Wildcats took a 48-14 District 7-5A win over the Tigers on Friday at Fighting Wildcat Stadium.

The Wildcats, ranked eighth in the latest Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Class 5A poll, opened the scoring, taking the opening kickoff and driving 65 yards in six plays. Donavan Isom hit Talvin Michael for a 7-yard touchdown strike, and Cameron Walsh's extra point made it 7-0 with 9:48 in the first quarter.

Thibodaux's defense made a play on Destrehan's next series. Defensive end Victor Bimah batted Isom's pass at the line of scrimmage, and came up with the interception, setting the Tigers (3-3 overall, 1-2 in district) up at the Wildcats' 36.

On fourth-and-seven from the 33, Donta Johnson took the direct snap through the left side for a first down at the 23. Peyton Bonvillian then hit Deandre Pharagood for 19 yards, giving the Tigers first-and-goal on the 2-yard line. Bonvillian took it in, and the extra point made it 7-7 with 3:18 left in the opening quarter.

A Wildcats fumble on the ensuing kickoff gave the Tigers the ball at the Destrehan 12-yard line. Three plays later, Bonvillian went up the middle for 3 yards and the touchdown, and Thibodaux took its only lead at 14-7 with 1:48 left in the opening quarter.

But that would be pretty much it for the Thibodaux offense.

"We lost our starting center, and after that it was pretty much downhill for us," Thibodaux coach Chris Dugas said. "We don't have a quality backup there, and once we lost that guy, it's kind of like losing a quarterback. If you can't get a snap that's consistent, you're going to have those kinds of things happen. We had some opportunities. We had a big run from Donta on a punt, but we just self-destructed for a lack of good snaps."

Destrehan (6-0, 3-0 in district) tied it up at 14 on the next series. After a short kickoff and return gave the Wildcats the ball at the Tigers' 34, Will Matthews took it in from the 10 on the first play of the second quarter to make it 14-14.

Bonvillian went down with what Dugas said was "an ankle tweak" on the next series. He would return.

A Tigers punt led to the Wildcats' next score, a 9-yard reception by Murray capping a 10-play 63-yard drive to put Destrehan up for good 21-14 with 4:39 left in the half.

Alfred Smith's punt return gave the Wildcats great field position at the Tiger 28, and five plays later, Smith capped the drive with a 15-yard reception from Isom to make it 28-14 at the half.

The second half was all Destrehan. The Wildcats scored on their first three drives on the second half to put the game away. Isom hit Matthews again with an 8-yard touchdown pass after a Thibodaux punt to open the half, making it 35-14.

Thibodaux had its only sustained drive of the second half on its next possession, taking the ball at the 20 and driving down to the Wildcats 2-yard line before two consecutive false start penalties pushed the Tigers back to the 12.

A missed field goal gave the Wildcats the ball at their own 20, and after a 1-yard loss on a running play, Isom found a streaking John Williams down the middle for an 81-yard touchdown. The PAT failed, and Destrehan led 41-14 with 1:04 left in the third quarter.

Another Tigers punt led to a 7-play, 41-yard drive that ended with Murray scoring from 6 yards out to make it 48-14.