Hahnville needs win for home playoff game
Two weeks after falling to rival Destrehan 31-24 in double overtime, the Tigers came out on the losing end of a six overtime contest with East St. John by a 43-42 score. Still, Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin says his squad has nothing to be ashamed of.
"We played hard and left everything on the field," Valdin said. "The defense did a tremendous job throughout regulation and the offense was able to move the ball. But we had turnovers, which is really uncharacteristic of us."
Though the game ended with a scoring flurry in overtime, neither team was able to make much of a mark in the first half. It was East St. John who struck first in the third quarter after Alex Singleton put the finishing touches on a 68-yard drive to put his team up 7-0, but Hahnville answered back in the fourth when Jai Steib smashed his way to a 10-yard touchdown to tie up the contest.
That's how things would stay until Hahnville got the chance to win the game with 10 seconds remaining. Kicker Brandon Larousse missed a 29-yard attempt, but got another chance after East St. John defenders roughed him up on the play. However, on the next attempt, a bad snap ruined the try and sent both teams into overtime.
"We blew some early scoring opportunities, especially on special teams," Valdin said. "We work on that so much in practice that to make the mistakes we did is frustrating."
With both teams still tied after five overtimes, Hahnville got the first chance to take the lead in the sixth period. Quarterback B.J. Young threw a strike to Blaise Dempster to give his team a 41-35 advantage and Larousse sailed his kick through the uprights to stretch that margin to 42-35.
But East St. John struck last.
Singleton, who rushed for 115 yards on 31 carries, pushed through the Hahnville defense for a one-yard score, then came through with a two-point conversion after Hahnville jumped the gun on the previous extra-point kick.
"We have to go back and work on special teams and correct mistakes," Valdin said. "Early on in the season, you spend a lot of time on fundamentals because its not who you play, but how you play. Now, it's who you play and we have to prepare for what our opponents are going to do."
That next opponent is St. Amant, who is currently 3-6 on the season. So far, the Gators have struggled in district play with their only win coming in a 38-21 victory over doormat East Ascension. Other than that, St. Amant has suffered district losses to East St. John, Destrehan, and Dutchtown, though the Wildcats only beat the Gators 21-19 on a blocked field goal.
"Their quarterback is good and they are very similar to Destrehan," Valdin said. "They don't have as many weapons as Destrehan, but they have enough to beat us if we don't come to play."
To pick up a win in their final game of the season, Hahnville will have to put a lot of pressure on Gator quarterback Josh Jordan, who has committed to play for Iowa State.
"They don't like to run the ball and they have two running plays; run on the field and run off the field," Valdin said. "They want to throw the ball every play so we have to get their quarterback on the ground."
And if Hahnville is able to accomplish that, their season will be remembered as a special one.
"It's our senior salute night and a win would make us 8-2 with both losses coming in overtime," Valdin said. "The biggest thing though is that is probably sets us up for a first-round home playoff game."
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