After winning their last three straight games to put themselves atop the district, the Hahnville Tigers have turned the fate of their season around.
The Tigers (3-4, 3-0) started off the season with four consecutive losses in non-district play, however, they have remained unbeaten in the district and are only one win away from being guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.
After shutting out L.W. Higgins 21-0 last week, the Tigers have momentum on their side.
"When we can run the ball like that and we just shut a team out, it shows we are playing a little bit better every week," Valdin said.
This Friday they match up against the winless (0-7, 0-3) John Ehret Patriots in an away game.
Hahnville Head Coach Lou Valdin said despite John Ehret’s winless record they are tougher than they appear on paper.
"Their record is deceiving. They have real good skill players on offense and we are playing them at their place and we are playing them on homecoming. This is the only thing they have left," Valdin said. "They are going to be breathing fire."
The Patriots have led in three of their seven losses, including last week’s 20-14 loss to Bonnabel when they started off with a 14-0 lead with a pair of touchdowns by their quarterback, Darrel Williams.
Williams began the year as the team’s tailback, but has moved into a wildcat position as quarterback in addition to spending time on the defensive side of the ball at safety.
Early in the season against non-district opponents Edna Karr and Lutcher, Hahnville struggled to contain quarterbacks who ran out of the backfield and lost both games largely on the rushing ability of the quarterback position.
Valdin said his defense will take into account the rushing attack Williams presents.
"No question about it, we’ve got to stop him," Valdin said. "We are focusing on getting off our blocks very, very quickly and we are going to have some eyes on him and everything else."
On the offensive side of the ball, Valdin is confident that tailback Sergio Medina will be able to continue his success coming off of a two touchdown performance where he racked up 191 yards rushing on 24 carries.
"Teams have been able to move the football on them," Valdin said. "If they play the defense they’ve been playing the last couple of weeks I think they’ll play OK."
However, Valdin said if the Patriots start keying on the run then he may have to revert to putting the game in the hands of his receivers whose play has been problematic as of late.
"We’ve got to work on our passing game. It’s not close to where we want it to be," he said. "We really have no ‘go to’ receiver. If we have to have a big play there is no receiver that we feel confident enough to throw to."
With the passing game struggling throughout the season, Valdin hopes it improves.
"When you’ve got a second-year starter at quarterback you ought to be able to throw the ball more consistently than what we are doing, but it’s not just one person," he said. "They’ve got to concentrate more in practice. Its got to be full speed and we can’t drop balls in practice."
One big plus for the Tigers is that they have been winning the turnover battle recently.
"We’re not turning over balls as much and we actually are getting to a point where we are capitalizing on their turnovers. In the second half of the season that has been getting better for us," Valdin said.
Hahnville will face off against John Ehret on Friday at 7 p.m. at Hoss Memtsas Stadium in Harvey. The stadium is located at 2200 8th Street.
|A host of Tigers, led by senior linebacker Gabe Taylor (left), surround a Higgins ball carrier during last week’s 21-0 win.|