Hahnville and Thibodaux traded blows throughout a spirited first half and into the early third quarter Friday, and it seemed like a battle destined to go down to the wire.
Not so, said Hahnville.
A tidal wave of points in the second half spelled victory for Hahnville as the Tigers earned their second district win of the season Friday night with a 64-35 victory over Thibodaux at Tiger Stadium.
HHS (3-1, 2-1) celebrated its homecoming in style after a competitive first half saw Hahnville take a 24-21 lead into the break. But after Thibodaux (1-3, 1-2) took a 28-24 lead early in the second half, Hahnville took off and never looked back, scoring 40 unanswered points to secure the victory.
“I thought we made some really good halftime adjustments on defense,” said Hahnville head coach Daniel Luquet. “They caught us on one ball early in the second half, but I thought we had much better tackling, lined up quicker and diagnosed things they were doing really well after halftime. And offensively, we really clicked in the second half.
“The offensive line did a great job protecting and run blocking, and when we have time with the wide receivers we’ve got, we’ve got a chance to score a lot of points.”
Andrew Naquin notched five touchdown passes to lead Hahnville and passed for 316 yards. Corey Lorio (2-75) hauled in two of those. Trey LaBranch rushed for three touchdowns for the Tigers (19-165) and Troy Kendrick was a frequent and productive target (8-135-1).
Trailing by four early in the third quarter, Hahnville began its run when Hahnville quarterback Andrew Naquin dialed up Corey Lorio on a touchdown pass to push the Tigers back ahead, 30-28.
After a defensive stop, Hahnville scored another touchdown just 38 seconds later, this time on a Naquin pass to Troy Kendrick that made it 37-28.
It gave Hahnville some breathing room, but it would gain plenty more. Trey LaBranch got loose on a touchdown run that pushed Hahnville’s lead to 44-28 late in the third quarter.
Naquin hit Collin Zeringue for a touchdown to make it 50-28 with 10:06 left in the game. LaBranch added his second touchdown of the second half soon after, and Jeremy White scored late to round out what was Hahnville’s highest scoring night of the season.
In the first half, Naquin connected with Dakota Williams and Corey Lorio for touchdowns, while LaBranch scored on the ground and Tate White added a field goal.
Thibodaux got a strong outing from Luke Alleman early on, a first half highlighted by the senior quarterback’s 51 yard touchdown run and his 21-yard scoring pass to Ferronte Miller.
Hahnville scored more points against the Thibodaux defense on Friday than the latter had allowed in its three previous games combined this season – 64-26, in fact more than doubling that number.
Luquet noted Thibodaux entered the game far from full strength, however, with its three top defensive players missing in action.
“But you play who you play,” Luquet said. “We talked about homefield advantage and what we need to do when we’re at home. We’re about to go on the road for three straight weeks, so this was a big one.”
Hahnville is averaging 44 points per game this season. A week after Hahnville had its lowest scoring output of the season in a 38-16 loss to East St. John, it posted its highest total – by a full two touchdowns over its previous high of 49.
“For a young football team, it’s huge,” Luquet said. “Coming off of the East St. John game, and into homecoming week and all its distractions, they really focused in. I like how we approached this game as a whole program.”