With Offensive Star Power and an Improving Defense, the Destrehan Wildcats are Looking For Their First Super Dome Appearance Since 2014
by Jace LeJeune
The Destrehan Wildcats are having a big time year led by Head Coach Stephen Robicheaux as the team won twelve games and a district championship, but all of that will not matter for Wildcats fans if their team does not win their semifinal game this Friday against the Zachary High School Broncos. Over the last three years, the Zachary Broncos have been the team to beat as they have won two Class 5A state championships in that short span led by Head Coach David Brewerton. The Broncos are as balanced as they come in all three phases of the game on offense, defense, and special teams. However, the Wildcats have an explosive offense that can give the Broncos fits on defense. Headlining the group is the fantastic trio of QB Harold Blood Jr., RB John Emery Jr., and WR Quinton Torbor. All three players are currently committed to play collegiate football at the next level.
Blood has thrown for over 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns this year and has committed to play for Stephen F. Austin. Emery is widely considered as one of the best running backs not only in Louisiana, but in the entire country. The five star recruit has had his best season running for over 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns at the end of the regular season. Once committed to the Georgia Bulldogs, he then, decommitted and re-committed right back to the LSU Tigers two weeks ago. Then, there is Torbor, who is the leading pass catcher with 23 catches for 318 yards and four touchdowns. Torbor has decided to take his talents to Mississippi State. According to Louisiana Football Magazine’s recruiting specialist Lee Brecheen, all three players are all deserving of their recognitions and accomplishments.
“Harold Blood has a lot of experience and this year, he has proved that he belongs at the higher level as a college quarterback,” Brecheen said.
“At 6-2, 200 pounds, Torbor is a DI caliber wide receiver with 4.4/40 speed,” Brecheen said.
“John Emery Jr. reminds me a lot of Keiland Williams (Northside/LSU/Washington Redskins/Detroit Lions), who was a big natural back with speed,” Brecheen said. ““Emery has great balance for a kid over 200 pounds,” Brecheen said. He also has great vision and is very hard to tackle with your arms. He has power and can cut on a dime in the open field. He has great feet, hips, and can catch the football really well. He is a Leonard Fournette (St. Augustine/LSU/Jacksonville Jaguars) type of runner with not as much power. I saw him play in person as a sophomore against Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge. You could tell then he would be different and special by his senior year.”
Even Emery has been getting national attention, his main priority is to lead the Wildcats to the destination where they belong.
“I am still going to grind and do whatever it takes to help my team out this year,” Emery said. “Players like Ed Reed, Justin Jefferson, and Michael Young (Notre Dame) have gone through the program and I want to be like them.”
It is safe to say that Emery has accomplished his goal, but there are still more seniors that deserve a lot more attention including senior TE Carson Rieder, who is very high on Brecheen’s list.
Destrehan senior TE Carson Rieder can be another Foster Moreau (Jesuit/LSU),” Brecheen said. “Rieder is a big time tight end, but he is also an underrated holder and long snapper for the team. He blocks well, can run, and has great hands.”
On the offensive front, senior OG Chase Cooke has been a mainstay and a driving force behind the explosive plays.
“I feel like my strength is playing fast and physical,” Cooke said.
With a bunch of playmakers that have a chance to score on every play, there is no wonder why the offense has scored at least 22 points in every game. The defense has had its struggles earlier in the season, but in the playoffs, the group has hit their stride making big plays when it matters most. Seniors LB Alex Huszar, FS Denzel Riley, and SS Champ Craven have led the way.
“DB Champ Craven has 4.5/40 speed at 5-10, 175 pounds,” Brecheen said. “LB Alex Huszar is a sleeper prospect while FS Denzel Riley is a talented player with a lot of upside.”
Even hitting the semifinals, this is a team that is capable of doing a lot more with a combination of experience and talent. If the Wildcats can hit their stride at home against the defending Class 5A state champions, then anything is possible.
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