While Covington gave Hahnville fits all night, the No. 8 seeded Tigers secured their seventh straight victory Friday night in a 31-17 opening round win in the Class 5A playoffs. Anthony Williams scored three touchdowns and hauled in 95 yards receiving for Hahnville (9-2), which will host No. 9 seed John Ehret next week. Ehret bested Haughton in their first round game, 48-27.
Hahnville led Covington 17-14 at halftime in what was a close, physical game throughout. Hahnville had scored 40 points or more in six straight games and Williams was fresh off a school record rushing performance of 355 yards, but this week was a defensive slugfest for much of the night.
“No one has stopped us like that this year. Nobody,” Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio said. “Other than Riverside, we played them in a mud pit back in week 3, no one has stopped us like that. It was a great defensive effort by Covington.
“Having said that, we haven’t stopped a lot of people either, so hat’s off to Hahnville and a great defensive effort by our guys. Covington has two really quality football players in their quarterback and running back, and those guys are really tough to slow down.”
Saltaformaggio added the strong effort by the 25th seeded Lions was no surprise.
“I was nervous about Covington because of the fact that they one of those traditional, great football powers. They’re built on physical play and physical players. I told my team at halftime that this is the state playoffs and nothing is going to be easy. There is no such thing as an easy win.”
Early in the second half, it was a big play generated through the passing game that created separation, with Austin Perrin finding Williams for a 46-yard touchdown that made it a 24-14 Hahnville lead. Covington (5-6) responded on Devin Jenkins’ 38-yard field goal late in the third quarter to make it a one-score game.
Covington drove down to the Hahnville 18 midway through the fourth quarter when two big plays by Tigers’ defensive back Rashad Domino short-circuited the Lions offense. Domino sacked Covington quarterback Joshua Alfaro on second down to push Covington back, then intercepted the passer in the endzone with 5:42 remaining in the game.
All we needed was some momentum,” Domino said. “We were a bit down, they got a few big plays on us. I tried to do my part and I had to come up big for my team … to us, we feel like we need to get our offense the ball so we can try to score and win. As long as we do our part we’re good.”
Saltaformaggio said that was a big sequence on the way to victory.
“That sack was gigantic,” Saltaformaggio said. “You have to play defense to get through this tournament.”
The Tigers defense would come up big again when it stopped a Lions fourth-and-one attempt at the Covington 29 on the Lions’ next possession.
Williams rushed for a touchdown to make it a 31-17 score and put away the victory.
Covington’s Devin Brumfield finished the night with 24 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Devonte Clark returned after leaving last week’s game early with an injury—his 13-yard touchdown in the second quarter put HHS on top at halftime, 17-14. Williams scored on runs of 24 and 36 yards. Dalton Melancon added a 23-yard field goal for Hahnville.