Hurricane Ida may have delayed the start of the 2021 season in St. Charles Parish, but what a way to kick it off.
Destrehan travels to Hahnville Saturday, with kickoff set for 3 p.m. in a game sure to serve as a welcome distraction for an area consumed with rebuilding their community and resuming their lives since the devastating Aug. 29 storm.
The Wildcats lead the epic series 44-25 all time and have won eight of the past nine meetings between the teams. Hahnville is attempting to generate some traction in the other direction, meanwhile, and are aiming for its first win in the series since 2017.
A look back at the past five meetings between the teams and how they played out:
2020: Destrehan 36, Hahnville 23. This one marked a milestone in the rivalry – the first meeting between Marcus Scott and Daniel Luquet, who were in their first seasons as head coach of Destrehan and Hahnville, respectively.
The Tigers charged out onto the field and took the fight to Destrehan early on, capturing a 16-7 lead at halftime in the season’s final week – and in the District 7-5A championship game. But as Destrehan has done in several big games over the past few seasons, it turned hard toward its running game and powered its way to a dominant second half effort.
Tyler Morton had two interceptions and a fumble recovery and Razan Keller rushed for 227 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead Destrehan. Hahnville suffered from the loss of rusher Trey LaBranch, who was injured in the second quarter. He had scored a touchdown and was off to a strong start in the game. Andrew Naquin connected on a touchdown pass to Collin Zeringue and also ran in a score for HHS.
2019: Destrehan 23, Hahnville 21. The season got off to a rough start for Destrehan – only a Destrehan-like program would consider a 4-3 start a slow one, but for a team that rarely lost a regular season game for the several years prior, that’s what it was. Hahnville, meanwhile, had begun the season 8-0, but were coming off of its first loss of the season. The Week 10 matchup between DHS and HHS promised to be a momentum boost for the victor one week before the playoffs.
That’s what it was, and it was Destrehan emerging with the close victory behind a ferocious pass rush. Linebacker Dylan Whitted keyed that effort, securing three sacks for the Wildcats, who earned their third win in a row – and of what would be seven straight, as DHS surged into the Superdome to finish as state runner-up in Class 5A from here.
Destrehan forced Hahnville into a 3rd down and 28 yards or more three different times in the final quarter – and the last of the rivalry series for head coaches Stephen Robicheaux of Destrehan and Nick Saltaformaggio of Hahnville. Robicheaux retired and Saltaformaggio moved on to Holy Cross.
2018: Destrehan 28, Hahnville 15. The Tigers rode into this game amid turmoil, having lost two of its first three and embroiled in a battle with the LHSAA concerning starting quarterback Andrew Robison and head coach Nick Saltaformaggio, who were ineligible and suspended, respectively.
As this rivalry has gone historically, though, you can never truly count out one side, and Hahnville came ready. The Tigers hung tough, rallying from a 14-0 deficit to take a 15-14 lead at one point. But the Wildcats were ultimately too much to overcome. John Emery gained nearly 200 yards from scrimmage and his 14-yard touchdown with just under 10 minutes left effectively sealed the win for DHS.
2017: Hahnville 20, Destrehan 13. It was a victory HHS coach Nick Saltaformaggio called “a long time coming.” Destrehan had dominated the win-loss column in the rivalry prior to the Tigers win here, the latter’s first in five seasons over their archrival.
It came during the peak season of “Pookamania,” with Pooka Williams starring en route to nearly 300 yards from scrimmage, including 235 yards on 28 carries, 44 yards through the air and two touchdowns. The Tigers led 20-3 at one point and held off a spirited comeback by the Wildcats.
Williams’ 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter pushed Hahnville ahead 20-3 and proved to be the winning points on a night the Tigers’ running game took charge. Williams rushed for 235 yards on 28 carries and added a 44-yard reception. He scored two touchdowns on the night. The game represented Destrehan’s first district loss since 2012, and it helped propel Hahnville to the Superdome later that year, where HHS finished as Class 5A runner-up.
2016: Destrehan 31, Hahnville 28. One of the classic games between these two teams came here, where Bradley Quinn booted a clutch 27-yard game-winning field goal to cap the Wildcats’ victory, the team’s fifth straight over the Tigers.
While Quinn was a hero for DHS, he was far from the only one. Wildcats’ quarterback Kohen Granier was sidelined with a knee injury during the game and did not play in the second half. In stepped sophomore J.R. Blood, who played beyond his years to engineer points in the second half, including a game-winning drive. It was Blood’s first action as a varsity player.
2015: Destrehan 49, Hahnville 23. This one belonged to a powerful Destrehan squad from the start as DHS remained unbeaten. Kohen Granier tossed four touchdown passes, two of those to John Williams while one each to Justin Jefferson and Mike Young—those three went on to play at Memphis, LSU and Notre Dame, respectively, to give an idea of the Wildcats’ firepower that season. Williams and Young each topped the 100-yard mark for Destrehan, while Devonte Craven led Hahnville with a pair of scores.