This week marks the latest in a series of big game scenarios for Hahnville, which has climbed to 6th in the Class 5A LSWA poll and second in the 5A power point rankings after key district wins over Thibodaux, East St. John and Terrebonne.
Like Thibodaux and Terrebonne, the Tigers’ opponent Friday, Central Lafourche, has proven to be tough, talented and hard to beat this season. Unlike those teams, the Trojans will not play host, however—this week’s game will be in Tiger Stadium, marking just the third time this season HHS (6-0, 3-0) has played at home.
If HHS coach Nick Saltaformaggio gets his way, it’ll be far from the last.
“To me, everything comes down to where we sit in the playoff bracket,” Saltaformaggio said. “Right now, we’re exactly where we want to be. Every week, there’s something to play for, be it to try to go undefeated, to win a district championship, but the most important thing we have to accomplish is to nail down that one or two seed, because if you have it and there are no upsets, we’ll never have to leave Tiger Stadium.”
Of course, staying in that spot won’t be easy, and Friday’s game represents one reason why. Central Lafourche (5-1, 1-1) has lost just once thus far this season, by a 36-33 score to Thibodaux in Week 4. They get things done by playing an especially physical brand of football, and a disciplined one at that.
“I think our district has some superb football coaches in it, but I always think Keith Menard’s teams are the most well coached. And that says a lot because I think all the teams in our district are extremely well-coached,” Saltaformaggio said. “He does things schematically on offense that gives people problems. You have to adjust to multiple formations, deal with a big, physical tight end, they get the receivers involved in the run game, they’re very good in the screen game.”
Running back Deon Jenkins Jr. quarterback Ashtrein Duncan and wide receiver Jansen Folse are who Menard’s offense runs through. Duncan has a knack for extending plays with his legs while looking downfield for big play opportunities. Folse has size and what Saltaformaggio notes are exceptional hands.”
Jenkins, meanwhile, is a force with the ball in his hands.
“He does a great job running the power game,” Saltaformaggio said. “Running inside and outside zone, counter and power … he reminds me a lot of Mark Ingram in the way he plays.”
Defensively, end Trevor Allemand can be very disruptive. He’s far from the only threat, and Saltaformaggio said this is a defensive front that won’t back down.
“(HHS running back) Darryle (Evans) has a knack for making people miss, and when they don’t, he’s got a knack for making them make a business decision when it comes to tackling him,” Saltaformaggio said. “But these guys won’t back down. They’re just as physical as he is.”