Darryle Evans’ 39-yard touchdown run in the final two minutes of play put to bed Hahnville’s seventh win of the season – and in a row – as the unbeaten Tigers survived a determined visitor in Central Lafourche, 42-30.
It was a monster night for Evans, who rushed for 234 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries, time and time again answering Central Lafourche scores in the second half with touchdown runs of his own. He has tallied 919 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns this season.
Hahnville (7-0, 4-0) entered the night ranked second, unofficially, in Class 5A in power points, and a win over a Central Lafourche team (5-2, 1-2) with a strong record will only help fortify that ranking and keep the Tigers in contention for the top spot. Hahnville also sits atop District 7-5A as the team without a district loss in its ranks, with matchups against H.L. Bourgeois and archrival Destrehan remaining.
Of the Tigers’ seven victories, some have come via defensive shutouts, others in pinball-esque shootouts. As HHS coach Nick Saltaformaggio put it, this is a team that consistently finds a way to come away with a victory.
“We find different ways to win, and as long as we find ways to win, I’ll be happy,” Saltaformaggio said. “Central Lafourche was really good. They had a great run scheme against us and their back is a very good player for them. But he’s not Darryle Evans. Darryle Evans is extremely special. And it’s a shame nobody knows about him outside of the people at Hahnville.”
Central Lafourche didn’t make it easy, though, even as Hahnville seemed to have a handle on things going into halftime after taking a 21-8 lead on a Corey Lorio touchdown run on a sweep.
The Trojans closed to 21-16 in the third quarter before Evans put Hahnville back ahead by two scores on a touchdown run. After Central closed again to 28-24, it was another Evans touchdown that gave Hahnville a 35-24 lead.
Deon Jenkins Jr. was the night’s star for Central Lafourche, the running back gaining 120 yards and scoring twice on the ground. Ashtrein Duncan also helped lead the Trojans, passing for a score and rushing for another touchdown on the night.
Saltaformaggio said Central Lafourche brought a good plan against Hahnville’s interior linemen, Adonis Friloux and Dajan Parker, and said the Tigers didn’t do a good job of containing the run on the perimeter. It was a rare off night for a defense that’s held firm most of the season.
The offense, as result, needed to carry the load. The good news is the offense appears to be peaking at the right time, and delivered Friday.
“I was shocked at how poorly we played defensively,” Saltaformaggio said. “There were two or three times down the stretch I told Daniel (Luquet, Hahnville offensive coordinator) that we need to score here, because I don’t know that we can stop them right now. He’s done a wonderful job playcalling and our offensive players and coaches are doing a great job. Our quarterback, (Andrew Naquin) played well, though his stats didn’t show it. We dropped a few balls tonight and we need to do a better job of helping him out there. But there’s a lot of confidence we can score points.”
The win represented Hahnville’s third in three weeks over teams with five wins or more.
“It’s 5-2, 5-2, 6-1 … and going back to Terrebonne, that’s another high quality team,” Saltaformaggio said. “We knew this would be a tough district but I’m not sure anyone realized exactly how tough it would be.
“Our ranking, in the polls, in the power points … it’s very well-earned.”