The Hahnville Tigers are coming off a tough homecoming loss against East St. John, but they need to put that game behind them as they gear up to take on the H.L. Bourgeois Braves.
Hahnville (3-4, 2-2) must win the final three games of the season to be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Although they are starting the final run of their schedule against Bourgeois (0-7, 0-4), who holds the worst record in the district, Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said he is not paying attention to his opponent’s record.
"I ain’t looking at their record. We have enough problems ourselves. We just need to regroup and win. If we lose to them we are basically out. We have to treat this like a playoff game," he said.
The Tigers offense is coming off of a poor performance in which they were hard pressed to get a first down, much less score, in a 28-12 loss to East St. John.
Fielding a team without three of their starting offensive lineman was just one part of the problem, Valdin said.
"We had three starters out. We had a third string center and freshman starting. We had three backups in Friday night and that is why we couldn’t run the football," he said.
The Tigers were forced to turn to the passing game, with poor results. Quarterback Logan Martindale completed 10 of 31 passes on the night for very few yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Dylan Keller, who started the season at quarterback and was injured in the second week, returned for a few series, but was used sparingly and did not give the offense the jumpstart it needed.
The team’s only touchdown of the night came off an East St. John turnover and three subsequent penalties that gave Hahnville the ball with a first down within East St. John’s 5-yard line.
The Tigers got two more points off of a safety when cornerback Larry Boyd blocked a punt out of the end zone.
Hahnville’s defense came up with two big interceptions, one by Boyd and the other by Jamal Smith, but the offense was unable to capitalize on them.
Valdin said his team’s inability to move the ball on offense resulted in their defense tiring quickly and allowing East St. John to rack up four touchdowns.
"The big thing is our defense was on the field for most of the game," he said. "When they make you throw you don’t take a whole lot of time off the clock, so the defense goes right back out there."
Coming into Friday’s game against H.L. Bourgeois, Valdin said his team will be in survival mode.
"If we win the next three we are definitely in (the playoffs), but if we win two out of three we are probably still in," he said.
Valdin said maintaining discipline on defense will be Hahnville’s main goal on Friday night.
"Bourgeois lines up in a million different formations. They do a lot of trick stuff on special teams. They line up on the swinging gate on extra points and they fake punts," he said. "They do a whole lot of crazy stuff. We just need to make sure we are lined up right."
On the offensive side of the ball, Valdin thinks his team can put up some rushing yards this week even if it comes at the expense of not working on the passing game.
"Right now it is time to win games. If we win and don’t have to throw a pass it’s fine with me," he said.
Winning may be made more difficult if running back Todge Scott, who was hurt in last week’s game, is not available. Only two weeks ago, Scott rushed for 177 yards and a touchdown in a win over Terrebonne. Both he and Keller are considered game time decisions this week. However, Valdin is pretty confident his starting offensive line will be back and that should make a big difference.
The game will be played at H.L. Bourgeois High School in Gray on Friday, Oct. 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
|Hahnville quarterback Dylan Keller, who started the season before going down to injury, returned last week for several plays against East St. John.|