Tigers offense, defense hope to peak at right time
|Photo by Jonathan Menard|
MAKING IT COUNT. Hahnville sophomore Ahmad White fights for some tough yards in the Tigers 36-14 win over O.P. Walker.
A week after beating Helen Cox 32-12, Hahnville put a similar whooping on O.P. Walker, improving to 2-1 on the season with a 36-14 win.
The Tigers raced to a 24-0 first quarter lead due mainly to their superb running game. Alfred Blue got the scoring started with a 64-yard touchdown run, which was followed shortly by a 25-yard touchdown by Jai Steib. After a 41-yard field goal by Brandon Larousse put the Tigers on top 17-0, the defense got on the board when Cameron Elmer returned a fumble 19 yards to take Walker out of the game before it really even started.
“I was pleased with our performance - especially offensively,” Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said. “We ran the ball well even though Walker was stacking the box and trying to do what South Plaquemines did against us.”
In that opening season loss to South Plaquemines, the Tigers finished with -1 total yards rushing. Even without the ability to run the ball, Hahnville was still in the game, falling 20-14 in overtime. Now, with their running game working on all cylinders, the games haven't been close.
“We want to get a little better every week on offense and we are making improvement,” Valdin said. “Our goal is to be at our best when we hit district.”
While the offense seems to be coming around, the defense has been more than impressive. Valdin called the defensive effort against Walker “outstanding” and says that he knew they would match up well with the teams they faced in the first quarter of their season.
“I thought we would do that with athletic teams because we have a lot of speed,” Valdin said. “I am concerned that we might run into trouble when we face teams that play smash-mouth football because we are small. We have been playing well defensively so far though.”
This week, Valdin says the Tigers have focused on fundamentals while also trying to work on their defensive containment.
“We always want to get better fundamentally, but we also want to work on our defensive containment,” he said. “The next two weeks, we are going to play teams with mobile quarterbacks and I felt that we lost containment some against Walker.”
One of those teams is Destrehan, who the Tigers face to open up district play. First, they must get by John McDonogh, who they host on Friday.
McDonogh is 2-1 so far this season with wins against Chalmette and Sarah Reed. They beat Chalmette 24-14 and picked up a 27-0 shutout victory against Reed. Their loss came last week to Frederick Douglass by a score of 24-18.
“John McDonogh is very athletic and they are much better than they were last year,” Valdin said. “They have a couple of good running backs, an outstanding receiver and a great middle linebacker.
“Their kicking game is suspect, so again we are going to have to win special teams.”
Turnovers were a huge reason behind McDonogh's loss, as they fumbled the ball six times and lost three of them. Their quarterback, Melvin Davis, also threw two interceptions.
“To beat McDonogh, we need to control the things that we can control,” Valdin said. “We need to have ball security, win the turnover battle and have good field position. If you are able to do those things, you usually win the game.”
Click here to view pictures from the Hahnville, Walker game. More pictures also avaialable here.
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