Preview: Familiar foes Destrehan and Ruston meet for state title
Familiarity breeds contempt.
In the case of Destrehan and Ruston football, it breeds respect.
The two traditional powers have combined to win 12 state championships with several other championship game appearances.
Ruston has won eight state titles, most recently in 1990.
Destrehan has captured four state championships, most recently in 2008.
One will add another to the trophy case this Friday night when the Wildcats and Bearcats square off for the Non-Select Division I state championship at the Caesars Superdome at around 7 p.m.
You can listen to the game live on NASH ICON 106.1 FM and at www.nashfm1061.com.
The two teams, coaches and players are greatly familiar with each other.
In the 2020 Class 5A state quarterfinals, Destrehan went to Ruston and defeated the Bearcats 6-0.
In the 2021 Class 5A state quarterfinals, The Wildcats defeated the Bearcats 24-10 at home.
The coaches remain the same in Marcus Scott of Destrehan and Jerrod Baugh of Ruston.
Many of the same players, many of those now seniors, remain the same.
Once again, it figures to be a closely contested, physical contest.
Destrehan is led by senior Jai Eugene Jr.
While he will most likely play in the secondary at the next level, The Tulane commit has been simply outstanding at quarterback for the Wildcats.
Eugene has a superb wide receiver in senior Daniel Blood, now a Missouri commit.
Junior Shane Lee is a physical running back who has been strong all season long.
Destrehan averages 40.6 points per game. The Wildcats were amazingly consistent, scoring 40 or more points in all 10 regular season games, none of which was competitive.
The closest game Destrehan played in the regular season was a 35-point win in the regular season finale, a 42-7 win over Thibodaux.
On the defensive side, senior defensive back Kevin Adams is a Tulane commit as well.
The Wildcats arguably have the best defense playing among the 16 state finalists, having allowed just 6.3 points per game. Destrehan has posted three shutouts and has held 11 of 13 opponents to 10 points or fewer.
The playoffs have been more of a challenge for Destrehan.
After winning 48-7 at East St. John in the regular season, the Wildcats survived a 21-20 thriller in Reserve in the regional round of the playoffs. Destrehan knocked out defending Class 4A state champion Westgate 21-6 at home in the quarterfinals.
Ruston is led by a prolific running game. Senior running back Dyson Fields has rushed 234 times for 1,169 yards and 21 touchdowns. Sophomore running back Jordan Hayes has rushed 116 times for 1,077 yards and nine touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Jaden Osborne has rushed for 360 yards and two scores and he has completed 98 of 180 passes for 1,484 yards and 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
Ruston averages 37.6 points per game.
Defensively, junior linebacker Jadon Mayfield leads the team with 109 tackles and has a pair of interceptions.
The Bearcats knocked out defending Class 5A state champion Zachary 37-22 in the quarterfinals.
Aside from its eight state titles, Ruston has also reached the championship game on three other occasions.
Aside from its four state titles, Destrehan has also reached the championship game three other times, most recently in 2019.
Someone wearing red will leave with another title with the other departing New Orleans seeing red.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…