Same story, different night

Kyle Riviere
Destrehan quarterback Donovan Isom accounted for 214 total yards and all three of the Wildcats' scores in the 23-7 win. Photo by Dewey Keller.

Dutchtown and Destrehan's quarterfinals clash Friday night was a totally different ballgame from their regular-season meeting but unfortunately for the Griffins, the game yielded the same result.

Though their defense held one of the most explosive offenses in the state to just 296 total yards, their offense just couldn't score enough points to keep up. They fell 23-7--ending their five-game winning streak but most importantly, the loss ended their season

"They're (Destrehan) going to make some plays with those kinds of weapons. I just think our defense played a hell of a game," Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. "I thought we had a chance to finish some drives and do some things, but we just didn't do it."

From the very start, the Wildcats knew they were going to have a much tougher fight on their hands from when they trounced the Griffins 45-14 during the season.

On Dutchtown's opening drive, they marched 51 yards in 10 plays and reached the Destrehan 1-yard line. However, on fourth-and-goal, the Wildcat defense stood tall and stuffed Kajuan Coleman--forcing the Griffins to turn the ball over on downs.

The game remained scoreless until the second quarter when the same 1-yard line proved to be bad luck for Dutchtown once again.

With his back to the end zone, quarterback Brandt Fritsche was pressured and forced to desperately throw the ball out of bounds to avoid the sack. A flag was thrown for intentional grounding and since he was in the end zone during the throw, the Wildcats were awarded two points.

The baseball score of 2-0 lasted until the third quarter. That's when Donovan Isom and the Destrehan passing game finally got off the blocks.

On third-and-10, Isom found a wide open Tramaine Armstrong on a seam route for a 37-yard touchdown that put the Wildcats up 9-0

The Griffins tried to respond. They put a 12-play drive together that brought them to the Destrehan 20-yard line, but they left with no points when Brady Bergeron missed a 37-yard field goal attempt.

But early in the fourth quarter, Dutchtown finally got on the board. After a short five-play, 47-yard drive, Torrance Mosley exploded up the middle for a 29-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 9-7.

It was the closest the Griffins would get. The Wildcats responded quickly as they went 79 yards in just five plays as Isom hit Armstrong with a deep pass down the sideline for a 51-yard score that put Destrehan out in front 16-7.

From there, the Destrehan defense dominated. Playing catch-up and running low on time, Fritsche was forced into three fourth-quarter interceptions--two coming from Raekown Morgan.

That allowed Isom and the Wildcats to get one final score to put the game away at 23-7.

Destrehan was averaging 38 points a game heading into Friday night's matchup, but the Griffins held them to just 296 total yards and only two sustained drives.

Isom--the Utah commit--still had a nice game. He went 13-23 for 184 yards with two touchdowns, and he added 30 yards on the ground with another score. Armstrong only caught two passes, but both were touchdowns that added up to 88 yards.

"They're an explosive offense, and that guy (Isom) can move around. He's kind of like (Ben) Roethlisberger, and you can't cover those receivers forever," Saia said. "We knew they were going to make some plays; we needed to score some points."

Unfortunately, the Griffins couldn't do much on offense. They were held to just 263 total yards and though Fritsche had thrown at least three touchdown passes in his final three games, he was shut out on Friday night. He threw three interceptions instead.

Mosley led Dutchtown with 130 total yards and their only score while Coleman added 64 yards rushing on 16 carries.

Though the loss stung, Coach Saia couldn't say enough about the year his squad had just completed. Despite such a young and inexperienced roster, they went 8-2, won a share of the district tile and made it to the state quarterfinals.

"They're (Destrehan) a hell of a football team, and my hat's off to them, but I can't be prouder of my team," Saia said. "We came back with three starters from last year, and they got better with every week, and they grew together as a team. I wouldn't trade them for anybody in the world."