The reigning Class 5A state champions will be coming to Tiger Stadium this Friday as the Archbishop Rummel Raiders take on the Tigers for Hahnville’s first home game of the season.
The Tigers (1-0) are coming off a 13-7 road win over the Salmen Spartans (0-1) in last week’s season opener. Hahnville starting quarterback Dylan Keller had more yards on the ground – rushing 25 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns – than the Spartans had all game.
Keller was very active in the season opener and controlled over half of the team’s possessions either on the ground or through the air. In addition to dominating the ground game, Keller put up 31 yards passing by connecting on 4 of his 7 passes.
Running backs Lynn Simmons and Todge Scott also saw success on the ground. Simmons racked up 84 yards on 16 carries and Scott had 84 yards on ten caries, including a 45-yard breakaway run.
The Spartans were held to 52 yards all game and their only touchdown came on a return off a Jyrus Evans fumble. Otherwise, the Tigers kept consistent pressure on the Spartans and were responsible for numerous tackles for loss and a few sacks as well.
“I thought we played hard. Salmen was a physical football team,” Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said. “I thought we played fast, but we have some things we have to clean up.”
In particular, Valdin said the special teams, including kick and punt coverage, needs some work as well as the kicking game. Placekicker Craig Ford missed a 31-yard field goal and had an extra point blocked.
The Tigers will need all the points they can get when they face Rummel, who opened the season with a 14-0 home win over East St. John.
The Raiders have two top tier prospects in their defensive secondary in cornerback Henre’ Toliver and safety Dwayne Eugene that helped them keep East St. John off the scoreboard.
Valdin said he expects Rummel’s defense to be tough.
“Their defense is awesome,” he said. “They showed multiple looks when we played them in the playoffs a few years ago. They are going to put a number of guys into the box and force us to throw.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Valdin said Rummel has a good running game led by tailbacks Keith Fulton and Ivan Phipps.
“Rummel is a big, smash mouth team and we are not really built for that. We are built for speed and shotgun and teams throwing the ball around the field,” he said.
Valdin said he is certain he will be fielding the best 11 Tigers on the field for each play, whether that will be enough to take home the victory remains to be seen.
As a side note, Hahnville originally planned on playing tiny Class 2A Sarah Reed this week. However, Reed decided to drop their football program before the season began due to lack of players.
Hahnville vs. Rummel is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.