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PREVIEW: Destrehan vs. Hahnville (LA)

October 30, 2012

The Destrehan Wildcats will play host to the Hahnville Tigers this Friday night in the “Battle on the River” in Boutte, Louisiana. Hahnville won last season’s battle, 34-3, to extend its winning streak in the series to 3 games. This series is one of the most passionate and thrilling rivalries in Louisiana, dating back to 1946. Destrehan leads the all-time series in wins 30-19-2.

The Hahnville Tigers went 6-5 in 2011 on their way to winning a share of the District 8-5A title with East St. John, before being beat in the 1st round of the playoffs. The team returned 11 starters from last year’s team, 5 on offense and 6 on defense, including senior quarterback Easton Melancon. Melancon was last year’s MVP of their Great American Rivalry Series game against Destrehan. The Tigers started the season off with a disappointing 0-4 record. Head coach Lou Valdin knew his team needed a change and what a change he made. Valdin put senior linebacker Sergio Medina in the backfield and the rest is history. The Tigers have railed off 4 straight district games to put them in first place in the District 8-5A standings. In last weekend’s rout over John Ehret, Medina rushed for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. The passing attack will be centered on Kailon Carter and Ricky Preston. James Diggs and Hunter Perrin will help the running attack up front at the tackle positions. Defensively, Anthony Mott returns from an All-District season in 2011 at linebacker. He will join Medina and Gabe Taylor. Jamal Smith is the only returning starter in the secondary for the Tigers. In the Tigers 4 straight wins, the defense has allowed just over 10 points a game. If Hahnville can win on Friday night, they will claim the district title outright and be guaranteed a playoff berth. The Tigers are searching for their first state championship since 2003.

The Destrehan Wildcats have rebounded nicely from their 2-9 season last year. Head coach Stephen Robichaux has returned to the Destrehan and is looking to restore the program back to its former glory. The Wildcats are coming off of back-to-back seasons of at least 7 loses. Robichaux won 2 state titles in 2007 and 2008 before leaving after the Wildcats 5-6 season in 2009. The 2012 team is being led by quarterback Donovan Isom. The 6-4, 235 pound junior is having a great season so far. Will Mathews heads the Wildcat’s running attack. Lining up outside at wide receiver is Rickey Jefferson and Michael Smith. Jefferson is the younger brother of former Destrehan and LSU standout Jordan Jefferson. Rickey has decided to follow in his brother’s footsteps and has committed to play at LSU. He is currently ranked as the #11 best cornerback in the nation according to On defense, RaeJuan Marbley and Malcolm Darensbourg head the linebacking unit. Destrehan is coming off back-to-back losses by 1 point.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.