After pair of overtime games, HHS takes on winless St. Amant
|Photo by Jonathan Menard|
The Tigers struggled in the first half, and quickly found themselves down 21-3 by the halfway mark. In fact, Hahnville only managed to get those three points by starting off the game with an onsides kick that caught the Wildcats unaware.
“East St. John came out and punched us in the mouth in the first half and they were a lot more physical than us,” Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said. “We were just playing football. They were playing for their lives.”
In the second half, the Tigers quickly clawed their way back into the game. Sophomore speedster Ahmad White returned the opening kickoff all the way to the 5-yard line. The very next play, Hahnville quarterback Guiseppe Crovetto found Jai Steib in the endzone to cut the Wildcat lead to 21-10.
Though East St. John would score again to start the fourth, the Tigers finished with 15 straight points - thanks largely to the arm of Crovetto - to send the game into overtime.
But that was as close as Hahnville got. East St. John scored first in the period, then stopped the Tigers at the 6-yard line to pick up the win.
“Out of our last seven losses, five have been in overtime,” Valdin said. “The only benefit to overtime is that our kids know that, no matter what, they can always come back and they are never out of a game.”
And the Tigers wouldn't have to worry about overtime games at all if they would just play with consistency for four quarters. In their previous overtime game with Dutchtown, Hahnville jumped out to a big lead only to watch the Griffins storm back in the second half. This time, the Tigers gave up ground to East St. John in the first half and had to fight for their lives in the second.
“I wish we could put four good quarters of football together,” Valdin said. “We stunk it up in the second half last week and we did the same thing in the first half against East St. John.”
Something else that is troubling Valdin is the number of penalties his team is racking up week in and week out. The Tigers were penalized 11 times for 61 yards against East St. John, and were penalized 15 times for 103 yards against Dutchtown.
“That's something we work on every week and I don't know what else I can do,” Valdin said. “Our players just have to concentrate on the field. All it takes is concentration.”
The Tigers will end the regular season this Friday when they travel to take on the winless St. Amant Gators.
St. Amant has given up 308 points in just eight games this season, which equates to 38.5 points a game. However, the Gators do run a powerful option offense that managed to hang 35 points on East St. John and put up 45 on Woodlawn.
“They're and option team and you have one week to defend something that they have been doing all year long,” Valdin said. “With an option offense, they can take what you give them, and it's very difficult to defend.
“Every team wants to be aggressive against it, but our guys are going to have to stick to their assignments. We have to be real good on first down and keep them in long yardage situations so that we can take away the play action pass.”
As long as his defense can slow down St. Amant's option attack, Valdin believes his offense will be able to power through the Gators.
“Offensively, we have more speed than they do and we just need to run the football and execute,” Valdin said.
“We have to jump on them early, because the option isn't the best offense to run if you are playing from behind.”
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