After a close contest with John Ehret two weeks ago, the Hahnville Tigers victory over Sarah Reed on Friday was anything but close at 56-6. The Tigers made a statement, gaining more than 430 yards of offense and holding the Olympians to just a handful of first downs. The state's sportswriters took notice of the victory as well, moving the Tigers up one spot to No. 5 in the LSWA (Louisiana Sportswriters Association) 5A Rankings.
|Linebacker Linzell Rhodes brings down a Sarah Reed ball carrier during Hahnville’s 56-6 win last week. The Hahnville defense will be tested this Friday when they travel to Lutcher to take on the Bulldogs.
The amount of points the Tiger offense scored stands out in the box score, but the defense was also dominant in the game as Reed's only points came on an early interception return for a touchdown. The Purple Haze pressured the Reed offense to the tune of three sacks (Chris Wells, Brody Bourg and Jamon Lathers) and a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive back Sergio Medina. Head Coach Lou Valdin was very happy with the effort.
"We played better than last week," Valdin said. "That's what we look for. We made some mistakes, but we can correct those and improve next week."
The Tigers offense featured more variety this week as their run to pass ratio was almost equal and quarterback Brian Ensminger spread the ball out to five different receivers. Ensminger completed 12 of 18 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
"We protected the quarterback better this week," said Valdin. "And that allowed us more time to make plays."
Running back Ahmad White had his second consecutive 100-yard game, rushing for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Valdin is hoping for another strong performance from White and the running game this Friday against the Lutcher Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 8 in Class 4A by the LSWA.
"Dutchtown had some success running the ball against Lutcher a couple of weeks ago," he said. "If we can run the ball smash mouth and have success, we will do well. Otherwise, we'll have a tough game on our hands."
Last season, the Tigers lost to Lutcher in a titanic struggle that took two overtime periods to decide. Valdin would like to have won the game, but thought that playing in that type of game against such a tough opponent made Hahnville a better team.
This season, the Bulldogs are 1-1 and are not as intimidating at first glance as they were last year. Gone is NewOrleans.com 2009 Player of the Year, quarterback Gavin Webster, who was much of Lutcher's offense the past two seasons. But Valdin is concerned with who the Bulldogs still have rather than who they lost.
"Each year you lose players in high school football," he said. "Lutcher is still a very talented team and they have a lot of weapons to go to."
This year, the Bulldogs feature the tandem quarterback rotation of Austin Brack and Ruston Matherne. The pair combined for four touchdown passes last week in their 56-18 demolishing of Scotlandville. Three of those passes went to wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who is the Bulldogs most dangerous weapon.
This will be the best passing team the Tigers have faced so far this season. However, defense may be the key as the Bulldogs have allowed a fair amount of points in both of their games this year. Meanwhile, the Tiger defense pitched a shutout last week against Sarah Reed as the Olympians' only points came from an interception return.
"We have to beat a more physical team this week and our defense has to stop the run," Valdin said. "If we can stop them from running the ball, we have a good chance of coming out of there with a win."
This contest will be a good measuring stick for the Tigers as they can find out how they match up against one of the best teams in the state.
The Tigers will face off in Lutcher on Friday at 7 p.m.