DESTREHAN Dutchtown's Conner Fryoux congratulated Wynrick Smothers first.
Then Khalil Zaher. Then Kelvin York. And finally Benny Saia, the Griffins' head coach.
Smothers certainly earned the congratulations. So did the rest of his Destrehan teammates.
The Wildcats mauled Dutchtown 42-7 Friday night, capturing their second straight district title and, more importantly, securing their second consecutive undefeated regular season.
After graduating a bevy of talent that included several Division I signees, few thought Destrehan (9-0, 5-0 5-5A) would have the offensive capability to follow up a 15-0 state championship season with another unblemished regular season record.
"Everybody doubted us," senior linebacker Rufus Porter said. " They left and nobody thought we could do it. It feels good to show everybody we really can."
It's extra special for Smothers, who didn't throw a pass a year ago while backing up current LSU freshman Jordan Jefferson.
"It's really big," said Smothers, who accounted for 155 yards and four touchdowns against the Griffins (7-2, 3-2).
"To tell you the truth, I had no idea I'd come in and have an undefeated season. I always had faith in myself. I just wanted to come out and have a good season."
Against Dutchtown, everything went right for Destrehan. It started on the opening play from scrimmage.
Griffins' quarterback Wesley Perkins botched a handoff, fumbling the ball away as Destrehan's Tarquin Kenner recovered at the Dutchtown 11.
Three plays later, Smothers scampered in from 2 yards out for a quick 7-0 lead.
"Our defense has been creating turnovers the whole year," Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said. "We got the ball in that kind of position, you've got to score and get on a roll after that."
Roll the Wildcats did.
On the next Dutchtown possession, Destrehan's defense held, a high snap on the punt led to a shanked punt.
The Wildcats took over at the Griffins' 43. Smothers hit receiver Corey Videl for 24 yards on the first play and soon thereafter, the Wildcats claimed a 14-0 lead when Smothers ran in from the 5.
There was still 4:36 to go in the opening quarter.
"We played a really good football team," Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. "We didn't play very well. We started bad and it just snowballed. You can't play against that kind of team like that.
"They didn't get to 24-0 by accident."
The offensive and defensive onslaught continued in the second quarter.
The Wildcats' first possession of that period began at the Dutchtown 49. It ended with another touchdown, this time a 36-yard pass-and-catch from Smothers to Vidal.
Another defensive stop for Destrehan led to yet another quick Wildcats' score. This time Smothers found Brandon Armstrong for a 40-yard strike.
With 4:21 to play in the first half, Destrehan led a team not far removed from being ranked 28-0.
If there was any question Destrehan controlled the game in the first half, the Wildcats put all notions otherwise to sleep with their opening possession of the third quarter.
Smothers drove the Wildcats 70 yards in 11 plays, eating up 6 minutes, 18 seconds off the clock before taking a 35-0 lead on Henry Lenox's 12-yard touchdown run.
After a Griffins' three-and-out, Lenox put the finishing touches on Dutchtown, breaking two tackles in the backfield before dashing 58 yards to pay dirt. Lenox finished with 121 yards and the two touchdowns on nine carries.
"The defense is wonderful," Smothers said. "As long as the defense keeps playing and the offense steps it up, I think we've got a good shot of going back to the Dome."Dutchtown's highly recruited running back Eddie Lacy ended the shutout with 3:57 to go in the game, scoring on a 7-yard run.
"Watching them on film, Eddie Lacy is one of the best running backs in the state," Robicheaux said. "Our guys, they were just ready to play. We hit him early and continuously and we're just excited to come up with a big district win."
Lacy finished with 76 yards and a score on 17 carries.
Saia Said, "One of the best (defenses) I've ever played against. I knew that coming in. They just made it extremely hard to get any kind of consistency on offense."
The Wildcats now wait until Sunday to find out who they'll host Friday in the opening round of the playoffs as a likely top two seed. He'll have players with experience to fall back on, as most of the offensive line and a good bulk of the defense return from last season's team.
He'll turn to them now in a do-or-die situation.
"The guys supposed to be having a good year are having a good year," Robicheaux said. They have to continue to play and everybody else is rising to the competition."
Bradley Handwerger can be reached at