In their second home of the year, the Hahnville Tigers (1-1) are set to take on the Landry-Walker Buccaneers (2-0). They will have to do so without quarterback Dylan Keller, who started the first two games for the Tigers before suffering a shoulder injury last Friday.
Landry-Walker is entering its first year after combining the programs of two Algiers high schools and former opponents, O. Perry Walker and L.B. Landry.
Hahnville Head Coach Lou Valdin said the merger of two football programs has resulted in a tough team.
"They have a whole bunch of guys. I guess if you combine a few teams you’ve got to keep all of those guys happy," he said.
Landry-Walker is coming off a 66-14 blowout win over Miller-McCoy that was largely orchestrated by quarterback Li’Jon Cordier, who passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more in the first half alone.
Valdin said Cordier is a dangerous player, both on the ground and through the air, and that he has a number of good receivers to work with.
"Their quarterback is a great athlete. He is very accurate and lightning fast," he said. "They have no dominant receiver, so they spread the ball out. Most high school teams have one guy or two guys that you try to get the ball to, but all of their receivers catch the ball."
Valdin said he is anticipating Landry-Walker’s offense to be very pass-oriented and that Hahnville will counter by keeping the ball on the ground and the clock ticking.
"Walker is very, very fast and they throw about 70 percent of the time, so we have to try and keep the clock moving," he said. "If we are burning up the clock and running the football down their throat that will limit the number of times they can put it up in the air."
Hahnville will also have to rely on their defense, which has turned in dominant performances the last two weeks.
"We limited our first two opponents to one touchdown, so I would say right now our defense is carrying us a little bit," he said.
The defense will be counted on even more this game with the news that the Tigers will have to take on Landry-Walker without their starting quarterback.
Keller tore a shoulder ligament in the fourth quarter versus Rummel and is expected to miss the next two to four weeks.
In his place, the Tigers will alternate backup quarterbacks senior Logan Martindale and sophomore Mike Neal.
"They don’t have to try and be heroes, they just have to get the ball to the weapons," Valdin said.
In the first two weeks of the season, the bulk of Hahnville’s offense has come on the ground with Keller and running backs Lynn Simmons and Todge Scott leading the way.
Even without Keller, Valdin said he believes the Tigers will be successful running the ball against Landry-Walker.
"They play a lot of guys and they have a couple of pretty good lineman, but we think we can run the football on them," he said.
But Valdin said it will be his defense that holds the key to a Tiger win.
"I think we played very well last week," he said. "I think we played much better against Salmen and hopefully we’ll play better this week against Walker than we did against Rummel."
This week’s game will also be the focus of a charitable event for Coach To Cure Muscular Dystrophy week.
"The coaches are going to wear patches and we are asking fans to text ‘cure’ to 90999 to automatically make a $5 donation," Valdin said. "I am a parent of a muscular dystrophy child so to me that is a big deal."
Hahnville will take on Landry-Walker at home at 7 p.m. on Friday.
|The Hahnville defense was impressive against Rummel, keeping the Raiders off the scoreboard until less than one minute remained in the game. That sole Rummel score was enough to give the Raiders the win.|