Hahnville hopes to iron out kinks against Southern Lab in jamboree

Game will begin at 6 p.m. at DHS

August 29, 2014 at 11:29 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Hahnville running back Norquell Flowers picks up positive yards during a practice.
Hahnville running back Norquell Flowers picks up positive yards during a practice.
The Hahnville Tigers will get their first taste of live action this Friday as they take on the Southern University Laboratory School Cubs at Destrehan High School in the Ed Reed Jamboree.

The jamboree will be the first time many fans see the new offensive and defensive schemes Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio has installed in his first season in charge of the program. However, the team got a little taste of what they are capable of last weekend when they traveled to Slidell to take on the Northshore Panthers in a scrimmage last Friday.

“I really thought we played well. From an offensive and defensive standpoint, I thought we dominated the scrimmage,” Saltaformaggio said.

The Tigers defense held the Panthers to one score while their offense racked up six touchdowns in eight attempts. Following goal line drills, the teams played their starters for one 12-minute quarter and then played two more quarters with mainly backups in the game.

Leading the offensive attack this year is junior quarterback Mike Neal, who has been tasked with learning and implementing the triple option. On any given play, Neal has the ability to handoff to his fullback, run the ball himself or pitch it out to one of his speedy running backs.Saltaformaggio said he is impressed with how fast Neal has picked up the offense after only being in it for a few months.

“He really dominated the scrimmage and I thought he did a nice job reading the option game,” he said.

Overall, Saltaformaggio said he was happy with his defense’s performance as well, particularly that of his linebackers.

“I thought they were really aggressive,” he said.

 Despite the positives he saw during the scrimmage, Saltaformaggio said there are also some areas the team needs to work on.

“We didn’t have a sack in the scrimmage and they threw the ball a boatload and that concerns me,” he said. “Our defensive line has to dominate. We have dominant players on our defensive line and we are expecting them to dominate every week.”

The front three have been struggling without junior defensive end Jacob Plache’ (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) who is suffering from a back injury and is expected to be out for the next four weeks.

In addition, Saltaformaggio said his secondary could use some work.

“We have to do better covering long balls down the field,” he said.

Coming into the jamboree another problem is still being worked out as well. Who is going to be the starting kicker? Junior Aaron Bourgeois and freshman Dalton Melancon have been inconsistent in their battle for the starting position.

The Tigers will use Friday’s jamboree to iron out those kinks. The game will begin at 6 p.m. at Destrehan.

Although Saltaformaggio said he would be playing his starters in the jamboree, he also intends to use the game as a tool to evaluate his immediate backups and their readiness to step into a game.

“We know who our starters are, but we know somebody is going to get hurt. Who is the next guy out there and can he play? That is what we are trying to find out,” he said.

View other articles written Kyle Barnett

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