Following Hahnville’s 35-14 loss to Lutcher last week, the Tigers move into these last three weeks of regular season play knowing there is no more time to put things off – it has to start a run now, starting with Friday night’s game at H.L. Bourgeois.
Hahnville (3-4, 1-2) has had a knack for finding its groove late in the season for the past several years. Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins said after the Bulldogs’ win over Hahnville on Friday that he felt Hahnville was about to go on a surge in the back half of District 7-5A play, and many would likely concur with that. Hahnville head coach Daniel Luquet says in order to make that reality, his team has to rely on and refine what things have proven to be the Tigers’ strength over the first seven games.
“The message has been this week, we’ve got to put our hard hats on and go to work,” said Luquet. “We didn’t schedule anyone easy, and we finish out with district now. We have to self-scout and evaluate the things we’re good at, build forward this week and push to the best spot we can in the playoffs.”
Last season, the Braves finished 4-4, making the playoffs in 2021 before falling to St. Amant in round one.
Hahnville bested Bourgeois 21-0 last season and have put together a long winning streak over the Braves – the Tigers have won all 10 meetings between the teams since they became district competitors in 2013.
Bourgeois has struggled in 2022, with just a lone victory – a Week 3 26-14 win over Ellender. Since then, the Braves have lost three in a row to Destrehan, East St. John and Thibodaux, respectively. This will be just Bourgeois’ third game at home this season, as the Braves (1-6, 0-3) will close the regular season with three in a row in their building.
Braves’ passer Rogers Thibodaux made an impression on Luquet last year in the toughness he exhibited in the Tigers’ win over Bourgeois. Luquet said Thibodaux is a tough, smart player who isn’t afraid to take off and run.
“He took a beating and he kept getting up,” Luquet said. “He understands their goals offensively and he’s experienced. He gives them the ability to throw it a little bit, while they’re really looking to run the football, shorten the game and extend drives.”
Running back Cobi Harris is a load to bring down and runs north and south. Bourgeois also likes to use him as Wildcat quarterback, running him from a formation similar to Hahnville’s “beast” heavy set.
“He lowers his shoulder pads and gets up the field. We’ve got to be better at tackling … he’s a big back and he’s tough to get on the ground,” Luquet said.
Defensively, Bourgeois operates primarily out of the 3-4 and tries to limit big plays by keeping receivers in front and tackling.
Keeping them in that 3-4 might be key to the Tigers’ success on Friday. Luquet said the Tigers’ started to find a groove in the second half against Lutcher by going up tempo. Quarterback Ryan Gregson had his most productive half of the season at LHS, throwing a pair of touchdown passes after halftime.
“I thought when we sped up play, he looked a little more comfortable,” Luquet said. “When we go lightning, our up-tempo offense, we’re going to see more base looks and that cuts down on some of your reads. When you go slower and huddle, you give the defense a chance to do more exotic things. We need to try and speed things up.”
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