Fresh off victory, Tigers aim to slow 3A quarterfinalist ‘Jacks

For many Hahnville supporters, the Tigers’ opening week victory over host Woodlawn brought something of a wave of relief.

After back-to-back scoreless scrimmages against Northshore and Jesuit, respectively, Hahnville kicked things into gear Friday night in a 24-14 win at Woodlawn. Most importantly, perhaps, was the Tigers effectiveness in the run game. After struggling to generate anything consistently on the ground in preseason action, Hahnville rolled up 221 yards of rushing offense, with three backs tallying over 60 yards rushing. The Tigers scored three times on the ground, with Drew Dunn scoring twice.

Hahnville’s attention now shifts to Patterson, a 2014 3A quarterfinalist, which travels to Boutte for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday night.

Last week, HHS coach Nick Saltaformaggio preached a consistent message: leave Jesuit, and the jamboree disappointment, behind. It’s over, and the next game is the focus.

His message this week after a much different result? The same.

“It’s always about that next game,” Saltaformaggio said. “We’re 1-0, where we want to be. This week, we’re going out there to try and be 1-0 again. If we’re 1-0 for 15 weeks, then we’ll have accomplished all we’ve set out to do. It was a good win and we celebrated on the bus ride back, but we left  the celebrating on the bus, because there’s still work to do.”

Patterson fell in its first game of the season to Central Lafourche, 24-13. In that game, the Lumberjacks had difficulty stopping the CLHS run game, led by Nelton Allen’s 24 carries for 178 yards and two touchdowns. They’ll see another heavy dose of the run against Hahnville.

“We’re going to run,” Saltaformaggio said. “Our running backs are our bread and butter.

“We know our run game is going to be solid and strong. We want to create a line of physicality and run play action off it … Our offensive line was much improved (last week) and I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage.”

Patterson looks to spread teams out offensively, usually a recipe for a high point total for the ‘Jacks. But a sloppy field contributed to the slowing down of the PHS offense, and the team struggled as Central Lafourche registered six sacks.

Saltaformaggio notes that Patterson is capable of more, led by quarterback Sirbatian Charles, receivers Nehemiah Augustus and D.J. Jones and running back Tristan Ausama.

“Those guys stick out, for sure, on film,” Saltaformaggio said. “When you get athletes out in space, you have to tackle well. You have to make sure you’re not misaligned and that you’re making the proper adjustments, because a mistake can lead to points in a hurry. Our big focus is eliminating the explosive play.”

Saltaformaggio also stressed the importance of continuing to excel in the kicking game, where he noted placekicker Matt Boyer and punter Aaron Bourgeois excelled against Woodlawn.

“We have to be good there,” Saltaformaggio said. “We have been so far and we need that to continue.”

Against Woodlawn last week, Dunn rushed for 62 yards and tallied 80 total yards on the night. Anthony Williams rushed for 84 yards and Norquell Flowers added 66. Mike Neal passed for a touchdown and ran for another, completing 7 of 13 pass attempts for 115 yards on the night.

Dunn, who just missed scoring a third touchdown late in the fourth quarter, is a foundation  player in Saltaformaggio’s eyes.

“He was outstanding in every way,” Saltaformaggio said. “He’s a guy who can take a game over. He’s deceptively fast, but he’s got incredible power, the strongest guy on the field. He’s the kind of kid you win championships with. He wills his team forward.”

 

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