Acadiana downs Destrehan

Acadiana downs Destrehan


Acadiana downs Destrehan


Acadiana coach Ted Davidson said he got some phone calls early Friday that the cold, damp weather was a great sign for his Wreckin’ Rams.

“They said it was Ram weather,” Davidson said. “I wasn’t so sure. We handle the ball a lot too.”

One thing was for sure after Friday’s contest Class 5A state semifinal showdown at Bill Dotson Stadium, it wasn’t Destrehan weather.

Davidson’s Rams dominated play on both sides of the ball. On offense, the veer machine rushed for 379 yards with scoring drives of 12 and 15 plays.

On defense, just one week after limiting Barbe to 17 points, the Rams held powerful Destrehan to one touchdown in an impressive 35-7 state semifinal win over the Wildcats.

No. 1-seeded Acadiana will now meet No. 2 Parkway at 8 p.m. next Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Parkway notched a 28-27 comeback road win over Covington.

“The defense just played great,” Davidson said. “I can’t say enough about our defense. That’s just 24 points we’ve allowed in the last two games against teams that were averaging in the 40s. Just a tremendous job by our defensive coaches.”

Not counting the forfeited game to South Lafourche, Destrehan came into Friday’s game averaging 42 points a game. The closest any team had been to beating No. 4 Destrehan was 23-7 in the quarterfinals.

It looked like it might be a long night for the Rams’ defense when Destrehan drove 48 yards on six plays for the early 7-0 lead. Will Matthews broke loose on a 25-yard touchdown run for the score with 7:41 left in the opening period.

“They got that touchdown,” Rams’ defensive tackle Seneca Malveaux said. “I’ll give that to them. He was a pretty good running back. But once we settled down, we shut them down. Everybody just did what they were supposed to do.

“This is a great feeling. It’s a great experience. I’ve played on championship teams before growing up. But playing in the Turkey Bowl isn’t as big as this. High school is a different level.”

One play before Matthews’ touchdown run, Wildcats’ quarterback Donovan Isom went down after an 11-yard run up the middle on a big hit from Kevin Moore. Isom didn’t return until the second half.

“Isom going down was big,” Davidson said. “He’s a great player, but even after he came back, the defense did a great job of shutting them down.”

Acadiana quickly answered Destrehan’s score with a 12-play, 80-yard drive in 6:24. A 32-yard run by DeEdward Cormier was sandwiched between a bunch of four-yard runs and came three players before Edward Cormier powered in from the 3 with 1:17 left in the opening period.

Unfortunately for the Rams, the extra point was blocked to allow Destrehan to maintain a 7-6 lead.

By that time, though, the length of Acadiana’s drive gave the Rams’ defensive braintrust enough time to make adjustments. The Wildcats would collect just one first down over the next three-plus drives to end first half without Isom.

For the game, Acadiana’s defense limited the Wildcats to eight first downs, 91 yards rushing and 71 passing

“I think the conditions had something to do with it,” AHS defensive coordinator Dawson Durbin said of the cold, windy, damp conditions. “The quarterback going down affected them too. They’re used to their receivers being faster than everyone they play. Our receivers could run with them. That matchup of their receivers and our secondary worked out well for us.”

Davidson pointed out that the Wildcats played eight of their games on turf. The mushy field at Bill Dotson Stadium on Friday’s cold, windy evening didn’t come close to resembling turf conditions.

The Rams did punt on their third drive, but would score four touchdowns and miss a field goal on their next five possessions. DeEdward Cormier’s scrambling ability played a big role in the drive.

First, he connected with Blayson Abshire on a 25-yarder to cross midfield and then another scramble ended with a sparkling 17-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to tight end Keithan Mouton.

After missing a field goal with 36 seconds left until halftime, Acadiana chose the quick route with a 64-yard Donovan Soloman touchdown run on the Rams’ second play from scrimmage in the second half.

“At first I thought he was going to catch up with me, but I just kept running hard and I was able to run,” said Soloman, who ended up rushing for 91 yards on eight carries. “It was cold, but the weather didn’t bother me. It seems like every day is different, one day cold and one day not cold.

“Going to the Dome is a great feeling, the best feeling in the world.”

Then DeEdward Cormier was at it again with runs of 14 and 8 yards to set up a 35-yard touchdown run that began on the left sideline and ended in the right corner of the end zone.

“When I saw the open field, I just took it and did what I was supposed to do,” said Cormier, who threw for 64 yards and rushed for 122 on 10 carries. “It was cold, but I just tried to block it out of my mind.

“I went to the Dome when I was a freshmen, but we fell short the last two years. This is big. We really wanted to go back our senior year.”

Cormier led the AHS offense to 19 first downs, 379 yards rushing and 64 passing. Edward Cormier left the game with a cramp after a four-yard gain on the second drive of the second half and didn’t return. He finished with 89 yards on 16 carries, while Elijah Ledet pitched in 74 yards on 19 attempts.

The win was then punctuated by one of Acadiana’s signature 15-play, 68-yard drives in 8:08.

“I guess the weather ended up working out in our favor,” Davidson said.


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