St. Charles Herald-Guide

Tigers roar into regionals

Kyle Barnett - November 12, 2012

The Hahnville Tigers are looking to pull off another playoff upset this week when they take on the No. 7 Parkway Panthers (10-1) at home.

Last week, the 23rd-ranked Tigers beat the 10th-ranked St. Paul Wolves in Covington, 25-21.

Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said his Tigers have an edge this week by being able to play at home.

"The biggest advantage that we have is weíre in Tiger Stadium," Valdin said. "We have a team coming in from Shreveport thatís never been here, so this place has to be rocking Friday night."

The last game the Tigers played at home was homecoming night on Oct. 19. In that game, they shutout L.W. Higgins 21-0.

Following that game, it was a real possibility that the next time the Tigersí seniors entered the stadium it would have been as mere spectators.

"We knew we were going to be a low seed so there was going to be a possibility we were going to be on the road twice and we knew in the first round we were playing a tough opponent," Valdin said. "Our seniors are thrilled to death to wear that purple jersey one more time and come through the tunnel."

Although the Tigers continued to make mistakes in the ball control game by losing a few fumbles against St. Paulís, the offense shined as a whole.

Quarterback Easton Melancon had his best game of the season, connecting on 14 of his 26 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, tailback Sergio Medina racked up 124 yards on the ground and had one touchdown.

In five out of six games since he was moved from starting middle linebacker to tailback, Medina has turned in plus 100-yard performances, including a 240 yard, four touchdown performance in week 10 versus Destrehan.

Valdin said the teamís performance in the running game is the main reason why the Tigers were able to open up the passing attack against St. Paulís.

"Thatís what has been carrying us for the past few games," Valdin said. "Because we have been able to run the football the play action pass has been very good to us."

Valdin said the Panthersí run a similar defense to St. Paulís and he is hoping for a repeat of last weekís performance from his offense.

"They are similar to St. Paulís, similar to Destrehan – bend but donít break. With teams like that if you can run the football on them then that opens everything up," Valdin said. "They canít just sit in a defense. Youíve got force them to do something. If they box the guys up in the run then you are going to start slinging it."

Valdin said his overall goal is to stop Parkwayís explosive offense.

"They are very, very good offensively," he said. "Offensively they are similar to Destrehan. They have a big quarterback that can throw the ball, a tailback that can fly and some really, really good receivers."

Valdin said the best way to stop Parkway from taking over the game offensively is by Hahnvilleís offense being able to sustain long drives.

"Keep Parkwayís offense off the field, move the chains. Run the football play action pass," he said. "Parkwayís best players are on offense and weíve got to keep them off the field."

On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers are planning on keeping it simple.

"They are similar to St. Paulís in that they do a lot of things – a few plays out of a lot of formations. The more complicated the offense the more simple you need to be on defense," Valdin said. "We need to play base defense and make sure we donít get beat."

The game will be played at Hahnville High School on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

If the Tigers win on Friday there is a good chance they will host a game in the quarterfinals, assuming Barbe wins their matchup with Byrd. Barbe is seeded second in Class 5A.

To see the full playoff bracket, see 4B.

Tailback Sergio Medina carrying a St. Paul defensive player.
Tailback Sergio Medina carrying a St. Paul defensive player.