The Hahnville Tigers (0-1) will be looking for their first win of the season when they meet up for their annual match-up Friday night against the Lutcher Bulldogs (1-0).
The Tigers are hoping to reverse a recent losing trend against Lutcher.
"We havenít beaten them in a while, maybe three years," head coach Lou Valdin said. "It will be a typical River Parish game. I expect it to be a close game. I expect two teams playing very, very hard."
Lutcherís 2011 squad made it to the semi-finals of the 4A playoffs where they were beaten by Edna Karr, who won big over Hahnville last week.
Lutcher faced McDonogh #35 last Friday and came out with 27-20 victory.
Valdin said he has been impressed by what he has seen of Lutcher so far this year.
"What I see on film is a good football team," Valdin said. "They donít make a lot of mistakes. They execute very well."
The offensive player Valdin is looking out for the most on the Bulldogs team is quarterback Ruston Matherne, who passed for one touchdown versus McDonogh and ran for another.
"Heís the total package. He can run. He can throw. He is the catalyst for what they do offensively," Valdin said.
Lutcher running back Torian Shorty is also coming off a successful game after rushing for two touchdowns of over 30 yards as well as catching a short pass for another touchdown.
"They throw, throw, throw and then they pop a run on you and he hits the hole at 100 miles an hour," Valdin said.
On defense Valdin is keeping a close eye on Lutcher linebacker Blake Roussel.
"They say he is the leading tackler in the history of the school," Valdin said. "Heís been starting since he was a freshman."
Hahnville is coming off a lopsided 41-13 loss at home to the Edna Karr Cougars that saw their defense give up 434 yards and three touchdowns on the ground and 89 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Most of those yards came from quarterback and all-purpose player Devante Noil, who started off the game with an 83-yard rushing touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and followed up with a 51-yard rushing touchdown later in the game. Noil finished up the night with 236 rushing yards with two touchdowns and 36 passing yards with two touchdowns.
Despite an overall poor performance on the night, the Tigers defense held Edna Karr scoreless during the third quarter.
Valdin said he is stressing fundamentals with his players in practice this week.
"Weíve got to get better in everything," Valdin said. "When we did what we were supposed to do we stopped them. When we lined up wrong 12 out of 14 times Karr had big plays."
One bright spot on defense was the play of Gabe Taylor, who had an interception in Edna Karrís territory as well as two forced fumbles and a number of tackles.
The offense also struggled by only putting up a total of 161 yards on the night. The Tigers did have one excellent drive when quarterback Easton Melancon successfully led the team on a two-minute drill to finish out the first half. Running back Lynn Simmons finished out the drive with a one-yard touchdown. The Tigers other two scores came on field goals.
Valdin said he was happy with kicker Craig Fordís performance though he would have rather seen a few more touchdowns.
"When you are in the red zone youíve got to come away with more than a field goal," Valdin said. "It makes it difficult to come from behind."
Before the Edna Karr game, the Tigers had a week without practice due to Hurricane Isaac.
"The week off hurts you fundamentally. The things you work on everyday. The things you developed in two a days and camp," Valdin said. "We need to spend a lot more time than we normally do on fundamentals in the season. So we are spending a lot more time making Hahnville better as opposed to focusing on who are playing."
|The Hahnville defense struggled against Edna Karr and will face another tough test when they host Lutcher and quarterback Ruston Matherne.|