Williams scores five times to lead Hahnville past Denham Springs

November 10 at 10:41 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Hahnville's Jha'Quan Jackson
Hahnville's Jha'Quan Jackson
Behind 305 rushing yards and five touchdowns by Anthony “Pooka” Williams, Hahnville advanced to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs with a 42-21 victory over visiting Denham Springs.

Williams scored three touchdowns of 40 yards in length or more, including two in the second half that helped spur the Tigers (9-2) to break open what was a 21-14 game in the third quarter.

“I think Anthony’s playing with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder,” said Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio. “He lost the rushing crown last week, we didn’t play him much in the second half of some games … he’s got a little vengeance on his mind. That definitely showed tonight.”

Denham Springs (6-5) trailed 21-7 when it made a big defensive play, scoring on a fumble recovery and return to draw within a touchdown.

“I think at that point, our kids probably said, ‘enough’s enough,’” Saltaformaggio said. “We really started executing plays better from there.”

That was as close as the Yellow Jackets would get. After three first half rushing scores, Williams made his fourth scoring run of the night on a 61-yard gain to make it 28-14.

The Tigers’ defense made a goalline stand and forced a turnover on downs, then Williams turned on the jets again for touchdown No. 5, going 58 yards to paydirt to make it 35-14.

Jha’Quan Jackson made it a 42-14 lead when he scored on a quarterback keeper in the early stages of the fourth quarter.

“Early in the game, they were kinda cutting our guys (on the offensive line) … it makes you passive (because) you don’t want to get hurt,” Saltaformaggio said. “The adjustment we made was really just to hold our blocks a little longer. Nothing drastic … Anthony got some creases. There were two touchdowns where nobody got a hand on him. We just needed a couple of little tweaks.”

Hahnville will travel in round two to face Ruston, which defeated East St. John 35-25 in its opening round game to advance.

The Tigers have won eight games in a row.

View other articles written Ryan Arena

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