Tigers must be prepared for 2 separate Dutchtown offenses
“I thought we played well on both sides of the ball against Destrehan and we didn't turn the ball over, which was a goal of ours going into the game,” Valdin said. “Considering the opponent, and all the distractions that occur during the week of the Hahnville/Destrehan game, this was our best effort of the year.”
The Tigers used a balanced offensive attack throughout the game, relying on the run and then turning to the pass when necessary. And that plan worked to perfection, as running back Alfred Blue scored three times and quarterback Brian Ensminger passed for two touchdowns of his own. But while the Tigers looked unstoppable, Valdin knows that Friday's game against Dutchtown (5-2) could be a dangerous one for his squad.
“We are coming off of a big, emotional win,” he said. “In situations like that it can be hard to get the guys focused again.”
The Tigers will need plenty of focus if they hope to stop the Griffins dangerous ground game, which is led by Effrem Reed.
So far this season, Reed has racked up 643 yards on 114 carries and has scored eight touchdowns. With quarterback Leon Blouin out against St. Amant, Reed ran the wildcat formation to perfection to lead his team to a 35-23 win. Though Blouin is expected to make his return against Hahnville, it has forced the Tigers to prepare for both the wildcat and Dutchtown's traditional offense.
“That's the scary thing about this game,” Valdin said. “We have had to prepare for two different offenses, and that means that 50 percent of what we have worked on in practice won't be effective during the game.”
Valdin said that the reason the wildcat offense works so well is that it creates an unbalanced line and also adds an extra blocker since the quarterback is no longer in the backfield.
But even if Blouin does return, a large part of Hahnville's game plan will still involve slowing down Reed, whether he has the ball snapped to him directly or gets it in a handoff.
“He is the real deal,” Valdin said. “We won't be able to stop him all the time, but we have to slow him down.”
And Dutchtown's defense isn't too shabby either. The Griffins are only allowing around 15 points per game to the opposition, and boasts what Valdin calls one of the best defensive backfields in the state. The Griffins star on defense, LSU commitment Eric Reid, only has one interception this year, but is terrific in coverage. He also is a hard hitter who has recorded 14 tackles this season.
“They are tough on defense, but if we play like we did last week by moving the chains and controlling the tempo of the game, we will be fine,” Valdin said.
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