Defense dominates for Hahnville as it turns back Bourgeois

Cincere Simmons stops Bourgeois RB Javon Pharagood in the backfield during Friday's 21-0 HHS win.

H.L. Bourgeois hung tough for much of Friday night’s game at Hahnville, but in the end it was the Tigers’ defense posting its second shutout of the season in a 21-0 District 7-5A victory at Tiger Stadium. 

Troy Kendrick scored two touchdowns to pace the Tigers’ offense, while Joshua Joseph scored once the ground to help lift Hahnville (3-2, 2-2) to its third consecutive victory following an 0-2 start this season. 

“We practiced hard all week,” said Hahnville defensive lineman Cincere Simmons, whose late fourth quarter sack of Bourgeois quarterback Gavin Vordick all but finished Bourgeois’ attempts to rally. “We just focused. Our coaches stayed on us and made sure we made less mistakes tonight. This was a big game for us and we got it done.” 

Bourgeois (3-2, 3-2) entered the week ranked No. 16 in Class 5A power points, and the Hahnville win likely means a solid bump upward for the No. 22 ranked Tigers. The Braves have already won as many games as the program had in its previous two seasons and came into Hahnville eyeing a signature victory.  

Hahnville has allowed just 13 points over the past three games, all wins, and 21 total in its past four (including an 8-3 loss at East St. John).

The Tigers played with a lead all night – basically literally, after Donovan Friloux connected with Kendrick for a 60-yard touchdown to put Hahnville ahead on the very first play of the game.  

Hahnville scored on a Kendrick run early in the second quarter to make it 14-0. But several HHS drives stalled out quickly due to negative plays, fumbles, turnovers or penalties, despite a handful of chances to build on the lead thanks to the Tigers’ defense quickly forcing the Braves’ offense to the sidelines over and over. Hahnville head coach Daniel Luquet did not sugarcoat his thoughts on it after the win.  

“Kudos to (Bourgeois) on defense … we didn’t play well offensively tonight,” Luquet said. “Our defense, there are your players of the game. They come out here to play and they’re doing a great job on that side of the ball … we’re on their coattails, right now. That (first half) was the worst half of football, offensively, I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here. And it wasn’t much better in the second half, but our defense held tough.” 

One spot where the offense certainly did execute, however, came on a 4th and 5 play just before Kendrick’s second score – K’Jon Smith converted on a run call similar to his key fourth down conversion a week prior against De La Salle.  

Early in the second half, Hahnville converted a third and 12 on a pass from Friloux to Joseph, a wheel route that picked up 18 yards. But a fumble in Bourgeois territory ended the threat. 

“We have a good offense if we stop doing the little things wrong. Those little things are going to get us beat in the playoffs if we keep doing them,” Luquet said. 

Bourgeois looked to capitalize and cut the lead in half. A drive to the Hahnville 23-yard line had the Braves in line to put some pressure back on the Tigers, but Hahnville’s Darnell Brown came through in the clutch with a sack of Vordick, one week after Brown’s crucial tackle against De La Salle on what could have been a go-ahead 2-point conversion.  

On an ensuing 4th and 18, Chase Morales got through on a blitz and pressured Vordick into an incompletion and a turnover on downs.  

“The biggest thing was containing (Vordick),” said Luquet. “Getting multiple people to him, because he’s a big boy and you need more than one.” 

Hahnville was able to put the game away on its next drive, including three receptions by Josh Smith Jr., the first of which converted a third and 7 pass from Friloux off of play action. Joseph punched in a 1-yard score to make it 21-0.  

“That coach (Sterling Washington) did a great job,” said Luquet. “They came here to compete and that’s a formidable opponent. They’re going to be tough for someone to beat in the playoffs. Kudos to them … at the end of the day, we’ve got two more to take care of now, and we get back to work on Monday.” 

 

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