Hahnville has much to play for this Friday night as Terrebonne visits for the regular season finale and a District 7-5A battle.
At the moment, Hahnville sits at the No. 16 spot in Class 5A’s power points ranking. Teams ranked 1-16 will host their first playoff game (the first four of those earning byes in round one before hosting round two), so HHS (5-4, 3-2) can all but clinch a first round home date with a victory this week.
Last year, Hahnville had a home game all but sewn up prior to several forfeitures by De La Salle, which Hahnville played in non-district competition last season. That knocked DLS several spots down the power point chart, which diluted the value of Hahnville’s win over the Cavaliers and put them on a road date in round one at Benton, where HHS fell to end its season. Two years ago, in Hahnville head coach Daniel Luquet’s first season leading the program, Hahnville fell at Ruston in round one.
“We put ourselves in a hole to start the year,” said Luquet. “Now, we’re at 16 and we have a chance, with a win, to guarantee ourselves a home game in round one. That would be the first time we’ve been at home since I’ve been head coach. All of the expectations there are here at Hahnville – to be playing on Thanksgiving week, to be competing for a state championship – it’s hard to do that when you’re starting on the road every time.
“(Earning that home game) has really been our focus. Be at home, stay in that same routine, be able to sleep in your own bed, and have our home crowd come out on game night.”
Terrebonne (3-6, 2-3) isn’t a likely playoff team given their 2022 record. Luquet warns, however, that this isn’t a team likely to be playing out the string. First year Terrebonne head coach Tyler Lewis knows the River Parishes well, having played at West St. John and coaching as an assistant under Robert Valdez at St. James. Luquet says he has an idea of what the latter is imparting to his team this week.
“I’ve known him for awhile now. He’s young and energetic, and he’s doing a great job building the program there,” said Luquet. “They do a lot of things in the community and he understands what Terrebonne High School means to the people there. He’s a great leader of men and I think he’s going to do some great things there.
“They may be out of the playoffs mathematically, but if I know Coach Lewis, he’s talking to those kids about springing this program forward, finishing on a high note and going into their offseason program with momentum. They’re going to hang their hat on this game. We have a lot on the line as well. It should be an intense matchup, and we have to match the intensity they bring.”
Terrebonne’s attack is triggered by a dangerous quarterback in Kyrin Robinson. Robinson brings speed to the position and can take off and run with the best of them.
“He’s dynamic,” said Luquet. “He does a good job extending plays … he’s elusive and can really cause problems. He gives his receivers a chance to get open. He’s the catalyst.”
Downfield, Kylan Billiot presents a tough matchup at 6’4 and 180 pounds, and he is Robinson’s top target.
“He’s a pretty good player, a tall, lanky kid who’s getting some good looks this year,” said Luquet. “They do a lot of different things to get him the football and they do a good job making sure he gets touches.”
Suppressing Billiot’s impact on Friday will take a team effort.
“You aren’t going to take him completely out of the game, but you are going to try and make them go to others to beat you,” said Luquet. “You try to take away what their receivers are most comfortable with, jam them at the line … we may not have the tallest corners in the world, but my guys are physical and my guys can run. We’ve got to do a good job stopping the run and put pressure on (Robinson), make him throw some balls earlier than he’d like.”
Defensively, Terrebonne shines on the defensive line. THS brings tremendous size up front, and on the edge, defensive end/outside linebacker Tydrick Stewart can cause all kinds of problems.
“Their defensive line is very impressive. (Stewart) is a big kid who can run, and they’re big up front. The strength of the defense is that front, a physical group. Across the board, their defense runs to the football. The corners are athletic and they’re coached well. What they lack in experience, they make up for in speed.”
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