Coming off of back to back wins over district foes that bested them a year ago, Hahnville now readies themselves to hit the road Friday night for what will be a battle of unbeatens.
The Tigers will square off with host Thibodaux as both teams attempt to run their record to 6-0 and make the top rank of the District 7-5A standings a little less crowded.
Thibodaux has earned its record this far by scoring a lot of points – at least 30 in four of five games – and by coming through in the clutch. The past three THS wins have come by a touchdown or less, with a 30-29 win over McDonogh No. 35, a 36-33 win over Central Lafourche and a 35-28 victory over Terrebonne.
“They have tremendous offensive skill,” said Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio. “Their quarterback’s a very good player (Luke Alleman), a two year starter. Their receivers (Kyren Lacy, Darwin Davis and Maurquel Price) are all pretty exceptional. They’ll match their skill with ours. It’s their biggest strength.”
For Thibodaux, the passing game is the engine that drives the offense.
“They throw 70 percent of the time. They’ll throw it more on Friday than we’ve seen altogether through five weeks,” Saltaformaggio quipped. “Our secondary’s played well. We’ve gotta make him hold the ball a bit. He gets the ball out quickly. For us to take advantage of our kids up front, we’ve gotta take his first read away and get him off his mark. If we don’t cover well, and give him his first read, he gets rid of it very, very quickly.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Thibodaux’s strength lies up the middle, boasting some quality size and skill on the defensive line and at linebacker.
Aside from district ramifications, the game will also carry a lot of weight in the power point rankings and, ultimately, playoff seeding. Hahnville enters the week fourth overall in the Class 5A power point rankings thanks to its quality wins so far. Saltaformaggio said a win Friday could, with some help, push the Tigers up another spot or two.
It’s a new situation for the Tigers, who have been in the habit of finding themselves early in the season and then catching fire after a slow start. Saltaformaggio believes this team has the talent and desire to put together a truly special season, but also warns that nothing gets easier from here.
“We’re playing a five win team, then probably a team that’ll have five wins by next week in Central Lafourche. Then probably six or so wins with Jesuit, and then Destrehan will probably have eight when we play,” Saltaformaggio said. “We have a lot of games left with teams who are really, really good.