This week’s GameTime Louisiana featured game is an LHSAA Class 5A semi-final matchup between the #5 seed Destrehan Wildcats (10-1) and the #1 seed Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams (9-1) – Friday, December 18 at 7:00 pm CT.
Rematch of the 2019 5A Championship
What could be better than a rematch of last year’s LHSAA 5A Championship nail biter? They meet in the semi-final round Friday night, and both teams will try to top last season’s defense-dominated 8-3 victory by Acadiana.
It was the Wreckin’ Rams 5th state championship but first since 2014. It was also the first time that the Acadiana completed an undefeated season (15-0) on the way to a state title.
Destrehan ended the 2019 season at 11-4 and Class 5A runner up. They hope to avoid the same costly turnovers that doomed any chances of victory over the Rams. In last year’s championship game, they turned the ball over three times, with two of those inside the 5-yard line.
Going for Back to Back Titles
Acadiana comes in with a 9-1 record and ranked #3 in the state of Louisiana. Their only loss of the season was a 27-21 defeat to Catholic High (Baton Rouge), the #2 ranked team in the state.
The Rams will rely on a stingy defense that is only allowing 10 points per game. They have outscored their opponents 323-100 this season (32-10 per game average).
On offense, Acadiana has racked up almost 3000 yards rushing and 498 yards passing. With those lopsided stats, it’s safe to say we’ll see a heavy dose of the Rams rushing attack throughout the game.
On the way to Friday’s semi-final game, the Class 5A #1 seed defeated Covington (44-7), East Ascension (42-14), and last week they shut out #8 seed Mandeville (21-0).
Another stellar performance from the Rams defense held Mandeville to just seven first downs and 102 total yards. On offense, the Rams finished with 299 yards rushing, including quarterback Jerimiah Brown who rushed for 90 yards/2 TD’s. Junior RB Omiri Wiggins added 129 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown run. Combined with a suffocating defense, that was more than enough to get the Rams into Friday’s semi-final game.
Revenge is on Their Mind
The Destrehan Wildcats, under first-year coach Marcus Scott, can’t wait to have another go at the LHSAA Class 5A championship. To get there, they will have to get by a familiar foe.
The Wildcats have made it to the state semifinal round six of the last seven seasons. They made it to the state championship game twice (2014, 2019), and both times they have lost to Acadiana. Destrehan’s last state title was in 2008.
Just like Acadiana, Destrehan has won all but one of its games this season.
The only loss was an opening season defeat against St. Paul’s Covington 22-14. Since that early season blemish, the Wildcats have reeled off 11 straight wins.
In the Class 5A playoffs, the #5 seed has taken care of business against Ouachita Parish (35-14), Dutchtown (20-10), and a 6-0 squeaker against a tough Ruston team. The weather played a big factor in that game. The only points scored by either team was on defense. Senior DB Tyler Morton scored on a 48-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter.
Destrehan charges into the state semifinals on the back of a sensational defensive effort on the road – and a dramatic quarterfinal victory. https://t.co/IdCH0o1wHf
— Herald Guide (@StCharlesHerald) December 12, 2020
In order to defeat the defending 5A state champions, the Wildcats will need to ratchet up the offensive production against one of the best defenses in the state. The defense will need to contain or at least slow down the vaunted Rams rushing attack.
Players to Watch (Acadiana)
George and Brown anchor the powerful, run-stuffing line for the Wreckin’ Rams. George (6’2/245 lbs) enters the game with 26 tackles (13.5 TFL) and 8 sacks. The 3-star athlete has committed to the University of Louisiana.
Walter Bob Jr. (6’4/250 lbs) was just about unblockable in last week’s game against Mandeville. On the season, he has contributed 28.5 tackles (12.5 TFL), 5.5 sacks, and 7 pass breakups.
Always on the hunt🤫😈💤 pic.twitter.com/AfzkZCHeFo
— Walter Bob Jr. (@WalterBobJr2) December 15, 2020
Other playmakers for the talented Rams defense include senior linebacker Derrick Bercier Jr. (5’10/210 lbs). Bercier leads the team with an impressive 63 tackles (6 TFL) and 4 pass breakups. In the secondary, keep an eye on senior safety Ian Montz (6’3/170 lbs), who has 19 tackles, 3 INT’s and 1 touchdown this season. Montz is also a talented baseball player for the Rams.
@mbpallamerican #standout @montz_ian
One of the biggest 💎💎 in 2021 #mlbdraft2021 #2sport #stud 6’3 OF ➕runner with 🧃 in the bat‼️ #uncommitted #stockrisers📈 #minoritybaseballprospects pic.twitter.com/M2uWWdsKOk
— Minority Baseball Prospects (@MBPTakeover) December 2, 2020
Rams cornerback Laterrance Welch, a 4-star prospect for the Class of 2022, is rated as the 9th best player in the Class of 2022. Welch missed most of the season because of an MCL injury, but he hasn’t been ruled out of making an appearance in Friday night’s game. The junior already has offers from big-time schools including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Florida State and Arkansas.
Junior QB Jerimiah Brown (5’11/190 lbs)
Brown leads the Rams offense as a threat to pass or run the ball. His season stats include just under 500 yards passing/7 touchdowns, along with 384 yards rushing/9 touchdowns. Brown currently has offers from the University of Arkansas and Houston.
Blessed & Honored to receive an offer from @RazorbackFB @CoachCarterArk @FormuLA_Scout @4thQtMentality @FbIberia @samspiegs @bartonsimmons @SWiltfong247 @ChadSimmons_ @Sheadixon @DemetricDWarren @BillyEmbody @NikkiChavanelle #Hogs 🐗🔴⚪️ @AHSWRECKINRAMS pic.twitter.com/4jhLaAImah
— Jerimiah Brown (@JerimiahBrown13) June 24, 2020
Junior RB Omiri Wiggins (5’10/190 lbs) & senior Tyvin Zeno (5’8/178 lbs)
The Acadiana ground game features the running back duo of Omiri Wiggins and Tyvin Zeno. Both players have rushed for over 700 yards each and averaged over 6 yards per carry. They have combined for 16 touchdowns on the season. Expect to see Wiggins (#22) and Zeno’s (#2) number called early and often during Friday night’s game.
1st team all district🙏🏾(offensive MVP)🤩 pic.twitter.com/nh1vw75rHU
— Omiri Wiggins (@WigginsOmiri) December 9, 2020
Players to Watch (Destrehan)
Senior defensive back & special teams – Tyler Morton (5’11″/160 lbs)
Morton has been making big plays for Destrehan all season. In Friday’s quarterfinal game against Ruston, Morton returned a fumble 48 yards for a touchdown to put points on the board and help the Wildcats advance to the semi-finals.
Earlier this season, Morton returned two punts for touchdowns and intercepted two passes in a 63-7 shellacking over Terrebonne. He also has punt returns for touchdowns against Central Lafourche and St. James.
Offers according to Recruit Louisiana: Lamar, McNeese State, Southeastern La University, New Mexico State. He is verbally committed to Nicholls State.
Destrehan’s Tyler Morton @taii_12 picked off 2 passes & returned 2 punts back for TDs to help his team beat Terrebonne 63-7
The Wildcats take on an undefeated East St. John team Friday night 👀🤔
Full story & highlights⬇️⬇️
— Jeremiah Jakee' Gray (@G_Sportz) October 30, 2020
Senior running back – Razan Keller (5’7″/215 lbs)
The Wildcats also have plenty of weapons on offense. Look for a steady dose of #8 Razan Keller throughout the game. He leads the team with 1006 yards rushing, 16 touchdowns, and an impressive 8.5 yards per carry.
— Jackie🐻Marshall (@jayy414) December 2, 2020
Senior defensive linemen – Jhase Gooden (6’1″/260 lbs)
The All-District defensive lineman is a disruptive force and leads the Wildcats defense with 6 sacks and 5 hurries.
Recruit Louisiana evaluation: Big wide-body, strong arms and legs, explosive off the edge, and relentless upon pursuit. He is a physical player with speed to run down his prey, high octane DT/DE.
Offers: McNeese State, Lamar University. Committed to Northwestern State University (LA).
Congratulations to the Fighting Wildcats named to WWL-TV's All-District Defensive Team: Dylan Gibbs, Jhase Gooden, Kelvin Lea, and Tyler Morton. We are so proud of you!
— Destrehan High (@DHSWildcats) December 4, 2020
Senior linebacker – Dylan Gibbs (6’0″/220 lbs)
Gibbs is an absolute beast for the Wildcats on defense. You can usually find the first-team all-district defensive MVP around the ball and making big plays. He leads the team with a gaudy 108 tackles (10 TFL), and he’s contributed 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 1 INT.
Offers: Committed to Southeastern Louisiana University
— Dylan Gibbs (@dylanjgibbs51) December 15, 2020