Blitz-heavy Ehret will test Tiger offensive line
Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said that penalties are common in a jamboree, but that he hopes his squad got it out of their system.
"I thought we made a lot of mistakes, but that's what jamborees are for," he said. "We had way too many penalties, but they are things that we can correct."
While the offense struggled, the defense played well at times. In fact, the Tigers’ first score came on a 38-yard touchdown return by junior cornerback Jerqwinick Sandolph. But that was the main bright spot for the Tigers, who also had a punt blocked by St. James.
"(The blocked punt) was disappointing," said Valdin, who calls the jamboree a dress rehearsal for the special teams. "That's the first blocked punt against us in a long time."
The Tigers will need to have their jamboree miscues fixed for this Friday's contest against John Ehret. Ehret finished 4-6 overall last season, but they have a dangerous defense that counts on heavy blitzing to confuse their opponent.
"They like to blitz a lot and if we can pick up the blitz, we can exploit them," Valdin said. "Last year we were able to do that and our quarterback had a big night."
In 2009, the Tigers blanked Ehret 42-0, scoring all of their points in the first half. Hahnville quarterback Brian Ensminger only threw the ball seven times, but connected on five of his passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers destroyed Ehret on the ground as well, with their two backs rushing for nearly 200 yards. While Alfred Blue, who ran for 119 yards on 12 carries in that game, is gone, senior running back Ahmad White had one of his best games of the season against Ehret.
He finished with 63 yards on only eight carries and scored a touchdown. It will be White who will be counted on to lead the Tiger offense this time around.
“When we are able mix up the run and pass, our offense moves pretty good,” Valdin said. “When we have penalites that put us in long-yardage situations, we have trouble protecting our quarterback.”
Everything comes down to the performance of the offensive line. The unit hasn't been tested this season, but their ability to pick up the blitz could be the difference between a win or a loss.
"If we can't handle the blitz, we are going to have a very long night," Valdin said.
While the Tiger defense played well in the jamboree, they lost a key member during an off-the-field accident on Saturday night.
Linebacker Treval Dunmiles was one of three Hahnville students run over while they were sitting near the curb of a home. Dunmiles is in the hospital, and Valdin said he still doesn't know when the senior will be able to return.
"He's a big loss for us because he has a lot of experience, he's a leader, he plays physical and he has a lot of emotion," Valdin said. "In football, you always have to plan for injury, but it's unfortunate that he was injured off the football field like this."
Valdin said that his team will play a nickel defense to get their best player coming off the bench, a cornerback, onto the field.
"We are going to move some guys around, but in this case we want our best defensive player on the bench to get on the field," he said.
The Tigers will host John Ehret at 7 p.m.
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