Tigers struggle offensively in overtime loss to Hurricanes

September 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Tigers struggle offensively in overtime loss to Hurricanes
Even though South Plaquemine was missing several players due to the devastation caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, their stars were on the field Monday night, and that's all that mattered.

The Hurricanes used a stellar defensive effort and took advantage of Hahnville turnovers to pick up the big opening-season win. Meanwhile, the Tigers struggled offensively and couldn't seem to get their running game going throughout the contest.

“I was disappointed in the play of the offense, particularly our inability to run the football,” Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said. “I was also disappointed in our pass protection and turnovers. Our offense is not good enough right now to turn the ball over and still win.”

Hahnville finished the game with a total of -1 rushing yards and only 76 yards through the air. South Plaquemine also scored the first points of the game with under three minutes left in the second quarter by returning an interception 45 yards.

Hahnville cut into the lead with a pair of field goals by Brandon Larousse, and eventually tied up the contest at 14-14 with a 74-yard kickoff return by Alfred Blue. They added a two-point conversion when Guiseppe Crovetto found James Butler in the endzone.

After either team failed to score again in regulation, the Hurricanes picked up the win on their first overtime drive.

“South Plaquemine is one of the best teams in the state and we knew that going in,” Valdin said. “They are very fast and extremely physical and I don't know if we will see another team with that much speed all year.”

And while the Tigers lost the game, Valdin was pleased with the play of his defense, which held the Hurricanes to only 35 yards rushing and 116 yards through the air. He was also happy that his team finally got a game under their belt.

“Even if I knew the outcome beforehand, I would have wanted to still play this game,” he said. “The most important thing is that we played and we got better playing against them.”

That experience is important because the Tigers are an extremely young and untested squad. The last two weeks have been difficult for them.

“We basically had a whole week off, and when you sit around and don't play or get in conditioning, any benefits you had from the camp, scrimmages or the jamboree are lost,” he said. “We also had the confusion of putting in game plans for three different teams, with pretty much only one day to plan for South Plaquemine.”

Because they played on Monday, this week has also been short on preparation time for the Tigers, Valdin says they spent most of it working on ball security.

“We can't turn the ball over and win, especially against good teams,” Valdin said. “We have a young offense and it's more important for them to manage a game and hold on to the ball and let our defense set them up with good field position.”

The Tigers will be playing another good team this week when they take on Helen Cox, who Valdin says is very similar to South Plaquemine.

“They have a big-time receiver, a good quarterback and they blitz a lot and play man,” he said. “In a way that's good because we have a short week of preparation and they are similar to South Plaquemine.”

The Tigers should be ready.

“Our kids have been resilient throughout this whole deal,” Valdin said. “The lack of real snaps under the lights have hurt us and we made a lot of mistakes Monday night that we wouldn't have made if we had played a game already.”

Now, they have one under their belt.

Click here for all the action from the Hahnville, South Plaquemine game.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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