After the Barbe Buccaneers went up on the Hahnville Tigers 28-0 in the first half of last Friday’s game, it was apparent that the Tigers would need a miracle to make a comeback in the second round playoff game.
Unfortunately, that miracle never came.
Although Hahnville (6-6) did mount a comeback effort late in the game, it was only after another Barbe score and not until the last play of the third quarter when running back Lynn Simmons took a delayed handoff up the middle for a 15-yard touchdown to make the score 35-7.
Barbe answered back with another touchdown before Hahnville put in third string quarterback Mike Neal, who competed a 38-yard pass to tight end Tyler Lamers. Running back Mikquel Chest would knock in a 2-yard touchdown to make the final score 42-14.
The game was in jeopardy early on after quarterback Dylan Keller was re-injured in the beginning of the second quarter. Keller started the season as the leader of the offense, but after being hurt in the second game versus Rummel spent much of the year on the sideline.
“I think we probably would have scored a couple of times in the first half had (Keller) not gone down. Before he went down we were moving the ball pretty good,” Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said.
Despite their struggles on offense, Hahnville was able to contain future LSU wide receiver Trey Quinn, who just the week prior grabbed the national record for most receiving yards ever at the high school level.
“We held Quinn to less yards than he had in his entire career. He ended up with five catches and most of those were in the first drive. We put Larry Boyd on him man-to-man and played a three deep zone and shut him down,” Valdin said.However, Barbe quarterback Kennon Fontenot was able to spread the ball out to numerous other receivers and passed for four touchdowns overall.
“I give him credit, he is like Johnny Football. One time we had four guys, we had him surrounded and he got out. Even our sidelines said ‘wow.’ It was just a tremendous play,” Valdin said.
Although the Tigers were able to sack Fontenot a number of times, it was not enough.
Valdin said Keller’s injury, as well as others, hurt his team’s chances all season long.
“We didn’t have the kind of record we’d like, but we had a bunch of injuries and you look at what could have been,” he said. “In all of the games where Dylan Keller played four quarters we won. Not just Dylan, every game where we were healthy - we had a healthy fullback, a healthy offensive line - every game where we were 100 percent healthy we won.” Valdin said as good as Barbe was, they have a rough road if they expect to make it to the state championship game. Barbe takes on Acadiana this week, who beat them in the regular season. Should they win that game, the will likely have to take on Destrehan in the semifinals.
“I think Destrehan is going to walk in to the Dome. They are by far the best team I have seen this year. They are much better than Barbe,” Valdin said.
Looking forward to next year, Valdin said the team will be losing some key players, though he anticipates a more pass-oriented offense given the team will be returning its two starting wide receivers.
“We are probably going to look a lot more like Barbe next year than we do like Hahnville. We are probably going to be passing the ball a lot more,” he said.
At quarterback, sophomore Mike Neal got the most snaps this year, but freshman Austin Perrin and sophomore Dylan Crockett will compete for the starting job.
“We have three quarterbacks coming back and they are going to fight it out. We don’t necessarily have to play one. We can play two and different types of things. Those three will be competing,” Valdin said.
Although the team is losing Simmons, who was the leading rusher on the year, as well as backup Todge Scott, who had some excellent games, sophomore running back Devonte’ Cravin will return. Cravin was named offensive player of the week once this season after rushing for more than 100 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers will lose a number of players.
“Defensively we’ve got a few concerns because we don’t have a lot of size coming back. We don’t have a lot of big kids coming back,” Valdin said. “We are probably going to have to change up the defense.”
As far as this year’s graduating class is concerned, Valdin said they had four good years of football despite their record this season.
“I’m glad for these seniors. They got out of here with two district championships and three wins over Destrehan. We’ve made 14-straight playoff appearances in the last 14 years, so I think the program is in pretty good shape,” he said.
|Hahnville quarterback Logan Martindale is sacked during the Tigers 42-14 loss to Barbe in the second round of the playoffs.|