After Hahnville fell behind 19-0 at Terrebonne Friday night, it would have been fair to wonder if the host’s Tom B. Smith Memorial Stadium had become something of a house of horrors for HHS after last season’s 41-0 defeat on the same field.
But consider those demons exorcised.
Hahnville erupted the rest of the way, surging back after getting a spark from a blocked punt for a touchdown and earning a 34-27 victory in a thrilling District 7-5A opener for both teams.
“It was a great win,” said Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio. “I think our guys might have been just too jacked up early on, and we made some uncharacteristic mistakes. Once we calmed down and realized where we were, what’s going on, we really took the game over and didn’t look back.”
Terrebonne started with a bang when quarterback Ja’Khi Douglas raced up the middle for a 98 yard touchdown that put THS (2-2) ahead to start the game. Terrebonne rode that momentum to post two more touchdowns and threatened to take a three-score lead into the half before Hahnville blocked its third punt in the past two weeks to earn its first points of the night. Terrebonne led 19-6 at halftime.
Though Hahnville scored the majority of points after its 19-0 deficit, this one went down to the wire.
Hahnville pulled within six on Drew Naquin’s deep touchdown pass to Jerry Spencer, who got behind the Terrebonne defense to make it 19-13.
HHS (4-0) went up 20-19 on Darryle Evans’ first rushing touchdown of the night, taking the ball into the endzone on a direct snap.
Terrebonne snapped the HHS scoring run after intercepting Naquin to set up another Douglas touchdown run, putting THS ahead again, 27-20.
Hahnville converted a third and 11 to tie the game on a screen pass by Naquin to Evans, the latter racing past the defense for six.
Channing Canada stopped the ensuing Terrebonne drive with an interception in the endzone. Evans capitalized by making a long run to get his team in scoring range, then capping off the drive with a short touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to supply the winning points.
Saltaformaggio, who said in the days leading up to the game that last year’s lopsided loss to Terrebonne was still a sore spot, was extremely proud of his players’ resiliency.
“This is a Hahnville football team,” Saltaformaggio said. “This is a team … in the locker room, they rally around one another. They help each other. They get in the weight room and they take it seriously, so on nights like this, they’re the more physical team when it counts.”
It was also a major test for a Hahnville offense in its first year under offensive coordinator Daniel Luquet. The Tigers had not yet been in the kind of trailing situation Friday provided, but the Tigers stepped up and met the challenge.
“Drew started a little slowly but he played really well as the night went on,” Saltaformaggio said. “He’s starting to be the kind of quarterback you need to win playoff games and championship games. I can’t say enough about our running backs, Darryle and Trey (Labranch). Those two were warriors tonight. This was a total team win, and that’s why I’m so happy and so proud.”