Lou Valdin and the Hahnville Tigers took a huge step toward reaching their goal of playing in the 5A football state championship title game when they defeated Barbe High School (37-28).
With the Buccaneers doing a solid job slowing down Hahnville star halfback Alfred Blue, he gained 86 yards on 21 carries, it was the continual development of Tiger junior quarterback Brian Ensminger that has put the Tigers in a position to be in high school football’s big game of the year.
Ensminger completed 10 of his 19 passes for 182 yards, but it was his two second half touchdown passes and two big scrambles of 19 yards and 26 yards that was the difference in the contest.
“Overall we played well on offense tonight and we thought some misdirection stuff might work against their real aggressive defense, but they made more plays when they had to than we did,” said Barbe head football coach Jimmy Shaver. “That 26-yard touchdown throw to (Derek) Howard in the third quarter and then the 21-yarder to Howard in the fourth quarter broke our backs.
“We knew coming in that Alfred Blue was a great football player, but Ensminger was terrific throwing the ball. He did a real nice job finding the right target downfield and Brian showed us better mobility out of the pocket than we thought he had,” said the longtime Barbe head coach.. “Our gameplan was to try and slow down Blue and force the young quarterback to beat us. Give Ensminger credit, he got it done tonight. Lou (Valdin) has a host of those big-time performers on his team.”
Ensminger’s accomplishments on the field overshadowed the football exploits of Bucs all-purpose athlete Michael Guillory who rushed for 145 yards, 138 yards in the first half of play.
Tiger junior defensive back Dyrenell Robinson sealed away the victory for Hahnville by intercepting a pass and returning it 40-yards for a touchdown with less than four minutes left in the contest.
Hahnville will advance to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs this week when they face Jay Roth and the Rummel Raiders.