REPLAY: Edwards runs Destrehan past Ponchatoula, 48-34

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DESTREHAN – After six days of talk of LSU’s win over Alabama last weekend, the star matchup in the Class 5A first-round game between Destrehan and Ponchatoula went the way of the Crimson Tide.

Destrehan running back and Alabama commitment Kyle Edwards rushed for 233 yards and five touchdowns as the seventh-seeded Wildcats defeated the Green Wave 48-34.

Edwards had first-quarter touchdown runs of 12, 1 and 40 yards as Destrehan bolted to a 27-0 lead in the game’s first 10 minutes. He added a 32-yard score in the third quarter, then after Ponchatoula closed to within 34-20 early in the fourth quarter, Edwards capped his night with a 93-yard touchdown run on the first play after the kickoff.

For Edwards, it was his second five-TD game in the last four weeks. He also scored five times against Thibodaux in Week 8.

“I thought that was the key,” Destrehan coach Steve Robicheaux said of Edwards’ fifth touchdown. “That really put us over the top.

“We came out early and we got a good lead and it kind of floated away. Hats off to Hank Tierney and his team.”

LSU commitment and Ponchatoula quarterback T.J. Finley, in his final high school game, bounced back from a slow start – two interceptions on his first three pass attempts – to pass for 303 yards. He accounted for three touchdowns.

“T.J. Finley’s a special player,” Robicheaux said. “He can make all the throws. Our guys were resilient and they did what they had to do to win the football game.”

Destrehan’s defense sacked Finley six times in the first half, including each of the final three plays of the half, to maintain a 27-0 lead into the locker room.

Ponchatoula drove 81 yards in seven plays to start the third quarter, with the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Finley getting the final yard on a leap over the top.

After an exchange of punts, Edwards scored his fourth touchdown to extend the lead to 34-7.

Finley’s 7-yard touchdown pass to his younger brother Cody and a 4-yard run by Braydon Johnson pulled the Green Wave within 34-20 in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.

A penalty on the kickoff return backed Destrehan up to the 7-yard line, but that’s when Edwards popped his game-changing run.

Destrehan (8-3), a top-eight seed in the Class 5A bracket for the seventh consecutive year, travels to Covington for a second-round game next Friday.

Ponchatoula, the No. 26 seed in the 5A bracket, ended its season at 6-5.

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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