Hahnville scored its first victory of 2021 and did it via a dominant road win, defeating host Thibodaux 31-0 in District 7-5A action Friday night.
The Tigers rode a breakout effort from quarterback Donovan Friloux, who accounted for four touchdowns on the night, three of them rushing and one on a pass, and a second straight suffocating effort from a defense that appears to have found itself after an opening week loss to Destrehan – HHS has allowed just eight points over the past two weeks after Destrehan scored 42 in the opener, and Thibodaux mustered just 91 total yards against Hahnville on Friday.
“It’s been a process for us,” said Hahnville head coach Daniel Luquet. “We felt like before the season we were where we needed to be, and the storm kind of pushed everything back. We didn’t play well in the first week and the second week, we shot ourselves in the foot and kind of gave it away. This was a really good road victory against a good football team. I thought our defense was lights out, and offensively we were real good in the first half.
“It feels good to get a win under your belt. You enjoy it now, and then get ready to move on to next week and hopefully do it again.”
Hahnville (1-2, 1-2) led 21-0 at halftime.
Friloux finished with 210 yards passing, completing 14 of 21 attempts with a touchdown and interception. His three touchdown runs came with 28 yards on 14 attempts on the ground. Joshua Joseph led the way on the ground in terms of yardage with 61 yards on 11 carries and in total racked up 80 yards (three receptions, 20 yards). K’Jon Smith posted 95 total yards, rushing for 46 yards on eight carries with 49 yards on three receptions. Troy Kendrick hauled in five receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams entered the game having struggled to put points on the board over the first two weeks. Thibodaux (1-2, 1-1) had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game prior to Friday night, but Hahnville surpassed that total in the first half, starting things off with a Friloux touchdown run.
Friloux found Troy Kendrick for a touchdown pass to make it 14-0 and the quarterback would run in another touchdown a short time later to give Hahnville a commanding lead. While turnovers plagued Hahnville in its Week 1 and 2 losses, this week the turnover battle went HHS’ way, with a pair of first half takeaways setting up touchdown scores – one on a fumble recovery and one on an interception by Dae’ron Price.
Tate White made a field goal in the second half to push the lead to 24-0. Friloux capped off the scoring with his third touchdown run of the night.
Defensively, Hahnville has seemingly made a major turnaround from not just the opening week, but from last season as a whole, when big plays hurt HHS time and again.
“That first week was an anomaly. They’ve figured it out … they started communicating better last week and piggy backed off that this week,” Luquet said. “We forced a lot of three-and-outs. Offensively, we had some long drives. It gives your defense a chance to get its breath back and make adjustments. If you can do those things and continue to be strong on special teams, we’re going to be fine.”
For Friloux, Destrehan and East St. John were tough assignments for a first-year starter for an opening pair of games. But this week he has able to flash the dual-threat potential that had Hahnville supporters excited this preseason. With starting running back Cole Villasenor sidelined with injury after a 100-yard rushing effort last week, Friloux was needed to step up, and did.
“Donovan brings that aspect, the ability to run the football and put the defense in a bind. You have to recognize what he can do with his arm and what he can do with his feet,” Luquet said. “Destrehan and East St. John is a tough first two games for any kid, but he’s getting more comfortable and understanding the gameplan. I think the sky is the limit for him.”