By Lyall Boudreaux
Destrehan Holds Off Griffins Upset Bid
Destrehan needed a pair of late scores to hold off upset-minded Dutchtown 20-10 in Class 5A regional round play last Friday night at Wildcat Stadium in Destrehan.
With the win, the No. 5 Wildcats advance to the quarterfinals and will travel to face No. 13 Ruston, an upset winner over fourth-seed Ponchatoula 42-28.
Meeting for the third time in the state playoffs since 2006, Dutchtown took the early lead on Dylan Samson’s 2-yard touchdown run and Christian Donnelly’s point-after kick for a 7-0 lead.
The homestanding Wildcats cut the lead to 7-3 on a 40-yard Will Bryant field goal on the final play of the first half.
Destrehan (9-1) continued to chip away at the Griffins lead when Bryant added a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter to pull the Wildcats to within one point at 7-6.
The Griffins responded with a field goal of their own from Donnelly to stretch the lead to 10-6 heading into the final 12 minutes of the second-round playoff game.
The game was a defensive battle with both offenses struggling to consistently put together scoring drives.
The game’s biggest play occurred in the final quarter when Destrehan, trailing by four, faced a fourth down just inside Dutchtown territory.
Wildcats coach Marcus Scott made the call to go for it and Razan Keller responded by bouncing outside and breaking loose from Griffin defenders on a 48-yard touchdown run and the home team had their first lead of the night at 13-10.
Only allowing 10 points a game, the Wildcats defense put the game away when Kelvin Lea returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown with two minutes remaining to give the Wildcats their third straight playoff win over the Griffins. Destrehan now leads the all-times series 8-3.
After a season-opening 22-14 loss to St. Paul’s, the Wildcats have won nine straight games heading into Friday’s quarterfinal round at Ruston.
Dutchtown (6-2) was in the regionals for the first time since 2017 and is still looking to reach the third round for the first time since 2013.