Hahnville, Dutchtown set for epic rematch in first round
|Courtesy of The Gonzales Weekly Citizen|
Hahnville running back Alfred Blue had a phenomenal game against St. Amant, scoring three touchdowns in the second half to lead his team to a big win.
The Tigers scored 29 points in the final two quarters, which turned a close game against St. Amant into a 42-28 victory. The win assured the Tigers off a 20th seed in the playoffs where they will have a rematch of their epic double-overtime victory against Dutchtown.
“I thought we were sluggish in the first half against St. Amant offensively, but we played good on defense,” Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said. “In the second half, we played really well on offense, but made some mistakes on defense.”
Valdin has been concerned about his team's ability to put together four good quarters as they wrapped up the regular season. In the double-overtime win against Dutchtown, the Tigers led by three touchdowns before allowing the Griffins to climb back into the game in the second half. In their next game against East St. John, the Tigers fell behind early and had to fight their way back in the third and fourth quarters.
After forcing overtime, the Tigers eventually lost in the first period.
Valdin says drive-killing penalties and problems with pass coverage kept his team from stringing together four good quarters against St. Amant.
“I was a little disappointed in our pass coverage, because we made some mistakes there,” he said. “We also may not have had as many penalties as we normally do, but the ones we did have were all drive-killing penalties that came at crucial times.”
However, Valdin knows that when his team is clicking on all cylinders, they are extremely dangerous.
“Offensively, we ran the ball real well in the second half,” he said. “When everyone is doing their jobs, we are a really hard team to stop. What happens is that one or two guys break down and that hurts us. We need everyone to focus and follow through with their correct assignments.”
The correct assignments were being followed in the second half, as Tiger running back Alfred Blue was able to score three touchdowns in the last two quarters. He finished with 301 yards in the game.
The success of the running game will be paramount when it comes to picking up another win against Dutchtown. The Griffins only have two losses on the year, with both coming from the two St. Charles Parish teams. Hahnville beat Dutchtown 49-48, while Destrehan ran over the Griffins 42-7 last week.
Valdin says that the playoff system is fair, but he would rather not have to take on Dutchtown once again.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I think the system is fair because it's all based on what you did in the regular season. I was kind of disappointed that we are playing Dutchtown again, not because we played them before, but because they are a really good football team.”
In fact, Valdin says the only benefit to playing the Griffins again is that they are a little easier to prepare for. Other than that, the matchup has its share of problems for Hahnville.
“They want revenge because we beat them and we are going to have to travel to their home turf,” Valdin said.
The Tigers will also have to slow down Eddie Lacy and Kelvin York. Last time the two teams faced each other, Lacy had 228 yards and five touchdowns while York had 56 yards and a touchdown.
“Hindsight is always 20/20,” Valdin said. “We looked at the last film and saw some things that they did that hurt us, so we are going to make some adjustments.”
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