After a promising outing against St. James in a preseason scrimmage last week, Hahnville’s preseason fare on Thursday night was, on several levels, not what the Tigers were looking for in a 27-0 jamboree exhibition loss to Jesuit at Tiger Stadium.
Jesuit did not give the Tigers much of a chance to hang around – the Blue Jays punched in three touchdowns in the first half, one of which coming after Hahnville forced a Jesuit punt following the opening kickoff. Hahnville fumbled the punt back to the Jays, who went 29 yards to score on a drive capped by a 7-yard Patrick Berrigan touchdown run.
Hahnville had to punt the ball away on its first possession, and Jesuit went on to score again. This time, Jesuit’s Jasper Parker scored a 2-yard touchdown to make it 14-0. Hahnville turned the ball over again on a fumble, and Harry Reinhardt punched in the score to cap Jesuit’s third drive of the evening.
Against a Jesuit team that finished as Division I runner-up a season ago, the Tigers’ mistakes were too much to overcome.
Jaron Duplessis crossed the goal line in the second half for the final touchdown of the night, ultimately cementing the 27-0 final.
Beyond the final score, quarterback Donovan Friloux had to leave the game due to injury. Backup quarterback Ryan Gregson came on in his stead to play the remainder of the evening. Hahnville head coach Daniel Luquet said Friloux will be evaluated and the team will know more tomorrow.
On the performance as a whole, Luquet wasn’t overly low after the scrimmage, noting this is the time of year to iron out the mistakes and address potential weaknesses.
“For these things, you come in and just do what you do,” said Luquet. “Be physical and try to get out healthy for the next week. I thought they kind of punched us in the mouth (early) … we stop them first drive, then we muff a punt. We had a few miscues up front, on the edge … but it’s things you honestly expect in a jamboree. Like I told the guys, we’re 0-0. We looked good last week and we struggled this week. You have scrimmages to work through this stuff … these guys will be ready to play next Friday night.”
He said Jesuit brought a different play style and attack than did St. James a week ago, with Jesuit’s run-first attack and heavier formations a contrast to the spread-it-out speed attack of the Wildcats.
“We’re very young up front, and completely new at linebacker,” Luquet said. “We’re a little more undersized than in the past, but we do have some big kids – they’re young and need experience. It’s something we knew we’d have to work on, with them running right at us, and we’ll continue to work on.”
TIGERS SHINE IN PRESEASON SCRIMMAGE – Last week, Hahnville hosted St. James for scrimmage action and showcased some of its explosive playmakers.
Donovan Friloux connected with Josh Smith, Titus White and Dakota Williams for touchdowns over the course of the day, with White leading the way by hauling in two scores – one in the set portion of the scrimmage and one in the 15 minute quarter.
Jha’man Preston also scored a touchdown of 70 yards with the second teams of each squad squaring off. St. James Kanye Zenon converted the play of the day for the Wildcats, a deep shot touchdown down the seam from Landon Gravois in second team action.
In the 15-minute quarter, Hahnville outscored St. James 14-0, the first touchdown coming on a perfect Friloux pass over the shoulder of a sprinting White.
The second score was a catch and run by Smith, who caught a screen pass from Friloux and raced for a 40-yard touchdown.
In the set plays portion of the day, however, one of the more welcome sights of the evening came when Williams broke free of his defender on a go route down the left sideline – Friloux dialed up a deep bomb that Williams hauled in for a 70-yard no doubter touchdown.
That was the first live action against an opposing team Williams had for nearly a year, after missing nearly all of last season with a torn ACL suffered in the season opener against Destrehan.
“We’ve been working on (that play) all week, so it was second nature for me,” Williams said. “I’m just happy to be back. It’s a blessing to be back with my team at 100 percent … it was pretty hard. I bounced back quick, but it was hard for myself, my family, my teammates. Just working hard to get back to 100 percent. My teammates never lost faith in me.”