Drew Naquin threw two touchdown passes, Darryle Evans scored three times and Hahnville shut out Denham Springs en route to a 28-0 opening week victory on the road.
“We played really, really well defensively,” Saltaformaggio said. “We only allowed 131 yards and a lot of that came on the last drive … if Andrew Naquin plays well, which he did, and the back end of our defense plays well, which they did, and the kicking game continues to come along like it did tonight, then we’re in great shape.”
Cornerback Syre Lewis also made a huge impact in the win, blocking a field goal, intercepting a pass and returning it 65 yards to set up a touchdown.
“You know the great thing about that is, early on, he misplayed a ball that they caught out of bounds in the endzone. We talked about it on the sideline … you have to have a short memory, and Syre went right back out there and had a really spectacular game for us,” Saltaformaggio said. “That blocked field goal was huge. We’d just fumbled a punt and we were struggling a bit … the block really flipped the momentum.”
It set up a score that came on a Naquin pass to Evans for 14 yards, giving Hahnville a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter. The Tigers (1-0) took a 7-0 lead into halftime.
Hahnville struck early in the third quarter on Naquin’s second touchdown pass of the night, a 40-yard strike to Trey Labranch that doubled the Tigers lead, lifting the team to a 14-0 advantage.
After Hahnville forced and recovered a fumble just outside of the Denham Springs (0-1) redzone, Evans capped a short drive with a 6-yard scoring run to make it 21-0 late in the third quarter.
Evans put an exclamation point on things early in the fourth with his second touchdown run of the night and third score overall, a 28 yard run to push the Tigers ahead 28-0, the eventual final margin.
Naquin played perhaps the best game of his young career as Hahnville’s starting quarterback.
“He had great command of what we’re trying to do … he was a calming influence for us,” Saltaformaggio said.
Evans finished with 77 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns and added two receptions for 80 yards. Naquin went 11 for 21 for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, it was the kind of dominating effort Saltaformaggio — and the Hahnville faithful no doubt —loves to see.
“Our kids are playing with that kind of edge that I like,” Saltaformaggio said. “I don’t want them to forget about last year or about what some of those teams did to us last year. They’re playing with a bit of an edge to them and I love that. For a guy who loves defensive football like I do, it’s really fun to watch.”