Winning district championship could be only way Tigers make playoffs
By Kyle Barnett - Oct 18, 2012
The Hahnville Tigers (2-4, 2-0) have begun to turn their season around, winning the past two games against district opponents after starting the season off 0-4 in non-district play.
This week the Tigers face the L.W Higgins Hurricanes (2-3, 1-1) in their last home game of the season.
The Hurricanes are coming off of a defensive struggle against Bonnabel in which they pulled off an 8-5 victory. In that game, the Hurricanes’ defense held Bonnabel to -37 rushing yards and only 134 yards on the entire night.
Early in that game, the Higgins offense was beset by injuries to their quarterback Rhyidh Wilson, who went down for the night after two first down runs.
Wilson was replaced for the night by freshman Jordan Joseph, who had two fumbles.
Higgins’ coach Wayne Meyers told the Times-Picayune that Joseph would get more practice at quarterback this week – hinting that Wilson may be out for the game.
Hahnville Head coach Lou Valdin said Wilson is the key to the Hurricanes’ offense and someone they would have to watch out for should he play.
"Their quarterback, he’s the real deal. He’s the one who makes it go," Valdin said. "They only run very few plays and they don’t punt a lot. They move the ball on everybody."
Valdin said Higgins plays a grinding run option game that only features about five passes per contest. He said stopping the option play is a must if they plan on bringing down the Hurricanes.
"Stop the option," Valdin said. "That’s their bread and butter. They run the option, option, option. They don’t pass much."
Valdin said when they do throw they go for long plays.
"They lull you to sleep and they hit you with play action. When they do it they don’t throw the ball short, they throw the home run," Valdin said. "They air it out. That’s what they’ll do is run the option, run the option and then throw one long pass to back you up."
Due to Higgins’ style of play there are fewer incomplete passes and runs out of bounds which will keep the clock running. Valdin said Higgins essentially limits the time his offense will have on the field.
"We’ve got to be disciplined," Valdin said. "Offensively the game is going to be shortened. We have to make the most of it."
Valdin said he was pleased with his team’s overall play against East St. John, who they beat 26-16 mostly due to costly mistakes by the Wildcats.
That game featured only one sustained offensive drive by the Tigers that ended with a 41-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Rickey Preston.
Easton Melancon was 6 of 16 on the night for 77 yards with one touchdown and one interception as well as -7 yards on six carries.
Valdin said the passing game will need to improve this week.
"We’ve got to be able throw the ball over the middle of the field a little bit better and make the safeties play," Valdin said. "We’ve been throwing go routes and out routes."
Tailback Sergio Medina had 74 yards on 12 carries on the night in addition to one touchdown that came after the Tigers took possession on the two-yard line following a bobbled snap by East St. John’s punter.
Valdin said the Tigers will have to improve on offense and watch out for Higgins’ defense if they expect a win.
"They are all pretty solid," he said. "Normally their linebackers are pretty good"
Valdin said the Higgins game, like every game until the end of the season, is a must win if the Tigers expect to advance into the playoffs.
"Possibly our only chance of getting into the playoffs is to win the district," Valdin said. "This is our last home game. This is homecoming and this is the last time some of these Tigers will ever play in Tiger Stadium so we are trying to use this for the best motivation we possibly can."
The Hahnville versus L.W. Higgins game will begin at 7 p.m. at Hahnville High School in Boutte.
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