Hahnville shuts out Higgins 21-0 on homecoming
Jamal Smith makes an interception and returns it 45 yards before being knocked out of bounds.
The Tigers (3-4, 3-0) have won three in a row to stay atop the district, something Head Coach Lou Valdin said they will need to do if they expect to make the playoffs.
“We are going to have to run the table to get to the playoffs,” Valdin said following the victory over the Hurricanes.
That task got a little easier when Destrehan lost against East St. John to bring their district record to 2-1 and leave Hahnville as the only undefeated team in the district.
Though Higgins started off the game with a couple of long runs by tailback Theron Williams their offense fizzled out due four turnovers and the loss of starting quarterback Rhyidh Wilson in the beginning of the second half. With freshman Jordan Joseph at the reins the Hurricanes were able to put together a couple of sustained drives, which were killed by a pair of costly fumbles within the Tigers’ ten yard line.
Joseph also threw an interception to Jamal Smith in the fourth quarter who returned it 45 yards before being run out of bounds at mid field.
On the next play Hahnville tailback Sergio Medina ran the final touchdown of the game in from 38 yards out dragging two defenders into the end zone with him from the 12 yard line in.
“I thought they were going to get me down so I kept my feet moving and just made it into the end zone,” Medina said.
That score was one of two by Medina who started the year off as starting middle linebacker before being converted to tailback for the last three games. Against Higgins he peeled off numerous 20 plus yard runs to end up with 193 yards on the night.
“I can read the defense so I know what they are thinking and how hard they are going to come after me, so I come just as hard after them,” Medina said.
The other score on the night came off a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Easton Melancon to sophomore receiver Rickey Preston with 15 seconds to go in the first half.
Melancon only had a few other completions on the night in addition to a red zone interception.
Both teams struggled on special teams with Hahnville kicker Craig Ford missing a 28-yard field goal that would have been an 18-yard attempt had it not been for back-to-back five yard penalties by the Hahnville offense. However, Higgins’ special teams woes were far worse with a missed 32-yard field goal, a fumbled kickoff return recovered by Hahnville and a shanked punt out of their own end zone that only rolled 15 yards.
Valdin credited the victory to the play of his defense.
“Hands off the defense played hard all night long,” Valdin said.
Valdin said the key was switching in personnel to stop Higgins’ rushing attack.
“We were trying to stop the option game and they started running more power so we put bigger guys in the box,” he said.
In addition to Hahnville’s defensive play Valdin said the offensive line was outstanding.
“The offensive line came off the ball and played hard and the backs played hard too,” Valdin said.
After the players, cheerleading squad and hi-steppers convened on the field to link arms and sway and sing the Hahnville alma mater song, one last time for some, the crowd dispersed, making their way out of the stadium back home.
“This is a moment you’ll remember,” Valdin said. “Your last game in Tiger stadium.”
The Tigers next face off against John Ehret at West Jefferson High School in Harvey on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
View hundreds of photos from the game HERE.
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