An amazing mid-season turnaround continued for Destrehan in the Class 5A quarterfinals with a 20-17 win over No.2 seed West Monroe, sealed on a 27-yard field goal from William Bryant as time expired.
“Just so happy for these kids, they worked so hard,” said Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux. “We were 4-3 in the middle of the year and pretty much people counted us out and our kids just fought back and won big games at the end of the year and we’re still playing, how about that?”
Bryant’s game-winning heroics were set up by a pair of fourth quarter defensive stops by the Destrehan defense and a well-executed two-minute drill.
Clinging to a 17-14 lead with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats came up with a fourth-and-1 stop when defensive tackles Savion Travis and Jhase Gooden stuffed Rebels running back Cayden Pierce.
After a three-and-out from midfield, a high snap on the punt gave West Monroe the ball back inside the Destrehan 10-yard line.
Again a stout Wildcats defense held strong and forced the Rebels into a game-tying field goal with 2:25 remaining in the game.
After a solid return by Razan Keller gave Destrehan the ball at its own 43-yard line, an eight-play drive ensued with six of those plays going to Kyle Edwards who helped march the ball to the West Monroe 10-yard line with 0:05 seconds left.
After a timeout by West Monroe to ice Bryant, the sophomore place kicker calmly drilled the 27-yard field goal to win the game.
“Three steps and a kick, that’s all it is,” said Bryant. “It’s what I do at practice every day. Motor muscle memory, that’s all I had to do, do my job.”
When some Destrehan players woke up this morning, they had a message from offensive coordinator Greg Boyne. It was a video clip from the Wildcats’ playoff victory over West Monroe in 2014. Message was received loud and clear.
“You could see all of (the Destrehan players) all hyped up and stuff. I wanted to experience that feeling,” said Edwards.
Edwards, an Alabama verbal commit, rushed 24 times for 92 yards and a second-quarter touchdown that gave Destrehan a 10-6 lead.
Moments later, Edwards showed he could throw the ball as well as he connected with Calvin Bullock on a halfback option that resulted in a 25-yard touchdown giving the Wildcats a 17-6 halftime lead.
“It was an amazing feeling,” said Edwards. “I feel like the throw was terrible but as long as it got there and we scored, that’s all that matters. We worked it a lot (in practice) so I was prepared for it.”
“We were just glad that Coach Robe let us run it,” said Boyne. “We saw them biting up on anything outside, we worked it up pretty good all week, and Kyle does a good job throwing it. The cornerback bit, and he threw it, kind of under threw it and the young sophomore (Bullock) went up and made the play.”
West Monroe rushed for 174 yards and was held to minus-3 yards passing. The Rebels were led by, Pierce who rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries, a pair of touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
Destrehan quarterback Damaruis Jackson was 13 of 18 passing for 173 yards.
No. 7 seed Destrehan will be home next week for the Class 5A semifinals as well when they host No.11 seed Haughton, which defeated Mandeville 34-14. Haughton will be playing in the semifinals for the first time since 1990.