After a critical special teams mistake by Hahnville, the Tigers’ Kobe Louis saved the day.
Louis intercepted a pass by Northshore’s Donovan Weilbaecher with 33 seconds left to preserve Hahnville’s first victory of the season, a 22-17 victory over Northshore in the Tigers’ home opener.
With 50 seconds left in the game, Northshore had the ball at Hahnville’s 41-yard line after a dropped snap on a punt led to a turnover on downs instead of a flipped field with no Panther timeouts remaining. Weilbaecher connected with TJ Coleman for a first down at the Hahnville 28.
But on the very next play, Louis intercepted the ball and became the night’s hero. He played on both sides of the ball on Friday night – Louis has played wide receiver this season but in this game played considerable time at both that position and safety.
“I’ve been learning my coverages,” Louis said. “I’m not really a defensive player primarily, but I’m going to do whatever I have to to get the job done. I’ve been working on my conditioning … Coach (Daniel) Luquet said he wants me to be an All-District reciever and safety, so that’s what we’ve been doing.”
Luquet said even brighter days are ahead for the junior.
“Kobe Louis is, to me, a big time Power 5 defensive back,” Luquet said. “He’s playing offense and we’re trying to find ways to get him the ball because he’s talented there, but that guy played probably 70 snaps tonight. He’s a great kid and the future is bright for him … our defense played really, really well tonight.”
That said, while pleased to get the win, Luquet was not nearly as enthused about what led his team to need that interception in the first place. While a fumbled snap set Northshore up in Hahnville territory, there were several issues that put this win in doubt for the Tigers (1-2), Luquet noted, including missed opportunities and failed chances to put the game away on offense.
A lot has to be cleaned up, he said – words that take on greater importance given that in a week’s time, his team will lock up with the rival Destrehan Wildcats.
“You know, I can keep on saying that we’ve got a young football team, but the bottom line is we’ve got to stop making these mistakes,” Luquet said. “We have to be much better on punt team. We can’t keep giving teams chances to win. Offensively, we have opportunities to put it away, and we’re stuck in the mud. We’ve gotta figure it out and get better, move the ball and score points.
“We left our defense on the field too long tonight. We have to play complimentary football and be better on offense and special teams because if we don’t, we won’t win many games.”
Hahnville led 14-10 in the fourth quarter before a Northshore fumble led to a safety recorded by the Hahnville defense, propelling HHS ahead 16-10.
HHS came up big defensively again when linebacker Chase Morales scooped up a Northshore fumble at the Panthers’ 6-yard line, setting up a Calvin Smith six-yard touchdown run that made it 22-10.
After a Nizair Miller sack pushed Northshore backwards, HHS forced a Panther punt with just under seven minutes remaining.
Northshore (0-3) forced a Hahnville punt and effectively needed a touchdown to stay alive. Weilbaecher converted two big first downs with his legs, one on fourth down, before connecting with Jayden Scott for a short touchdown pass with 2:10 remaining, making it 22-17.
Hahnville recovered an onside kick attempt. The Tigers ran three times to force Northshore to burn its remaining timeouts and were able to drain the clock down to under a minute, but the dropped snap on fourth down gave Northshore a final chance that ultimately came up short.
Louis said the defense took the field at that point and was all business.
“We hold each other accountable,” Louis said. “We know if all of us play hard and do our job, everything will work out.”
Smith and Ryan Gregson each scored on runs for Hahnville in the first half, Gregson’s a 70-yard dash that brought the crowd to its feet.