A very focused Hahnville team gave perhaps its most complete effort of the season last week in a 21-0 shutout victory over H.L. Bourgeois, but Hahnville head coach Daniel Luquet said nothing has changed in the team’s demeanor as it prepares to host Central Lafourche this Friday night in Boutte.
After a series of heartbreaking near-misses, the Tigers secured their first victory since a Week 3 win over Northshore. But it will take two more wins over the final two weeks of the regular season for Hahnville to have a chance of returning to the playoffs, and Luquet said the team is all business with that in mind.
“For us, that was just step one,” Luquet said. “We’re on to step two.”
Central Lafourche has struggled this season, with some misfortune contributing to the derailment of the Trojans’ season. The team has seen four different players step in at quarterback this year, and it is still searching for its first win, entering Friday’s game at 0-8.
Luquet acknowledged what Central has dealt with this season, but also said this is a team that plays with a lot of pride under head coach Shelly Vedros, who is in the midst of his second season of rebuilding the program.
“I think their offensive line plays well. Defensively, (Ryan Naquin) stands out at linebacker. He flies around out there,” Luquet said. “But my message to our guys has been that this team always plays hard. Central Lafourche always plays hard, they’re always coached well and they compete. It’s the culture over there. Those kids, no matter what their situation is, what time of year it is, they’ll be ready to play and they’ll be where they need to be.”
And indeed, while Central has taken some one-sided losses, the Trojans have also thrown a scare or two into opponents, including a 30-28 loss to Franklin and last week’s 22-20 loss to Thibodaux. Luquet said Hahnville (2-5) will have to continue building on its play, as it has for the past several weeks.
INJURY UPDATE – While Hahnville earned the win, a down note from last week’s game was an injury suffered by Tigers tight end Azur Karahasanovic, who had to be carted off the field in the fourth quarter.
Karahasanovic suffered a broken leg and has had a rod surgically inserted from his knee to his ankle in order to stabilize and align the leg for recovery.
Luquet said it hurt to see the junior suffer the misfortune, especially as he progressing so well after a move over from the defensive side of the ball.
“He’s a kid who has really flourished as our tight end and we were starting to expand on his role a little bit,” Luquet said. “It’s disappointing to lose him, but the good thing for him is he’s a junior, and the doctors say he should be fine for next season. It’s just a tough blow because this is a kid who works so hard to get better at his craft.”
Karahasanovic has largely played the role of a blocker – the move to offense was made with the idea of him bringing his natural physicality and intensity that he had as a longtime defensive player to the offensive side. But he also worked hard on his pass catching all season, and on Friday night his number was called – it sadly was the play that resulted in his injury.
“We talked all week about throwing him a pass, because it’s something he was working so hard on improving. He was working on it, working on it, and finally we got him one and he caught it — and he broke his leg,” Luquet said.
“I went out there and the first thing he told me was, ‘Coach, I caught that thing’ and I said, ‘Yes, you did.’”
LEADER IN THE SECONDARY – Safety William Brown has continued to emerge as one of the team’s top defensive players.
“I’ve been very impressed with his ability to be the high safety, then also to come down, play the run and go at it with some big kids,” Luquet said. “His approach to the game, his leadership, that he’s always in the right spot – he’s been very impressive. When you have guys starting for the first time, you wait and see if they’re going to step up in the way you hope for, and he’s done that.”