Hahnville, Thibodaux battle of unbeatens comes down to wild finish

Darryle Evans celebrates after Hahnville sealed its win on Friday.

It seemed like disaster for the Hahnville Tigers Friday night at Thibodaux — a fumble on a sweep play at the THS 10 was returned 90 yards by Tyren Young for a touchdown to push Thibodaux ahead 28-21 late in the fourth quarter of a battle between unbeaten District 7-5A foes.

Hahnville would not be broken though. HHS bounced back to score twice in the game’s final four minutes, both on Darryle Evans touchdown runs, to earn a 36-28 victory and sole possession of first place in District 7-5A in the process.

Hahnville (6-0, 3-0), Thibodaux (5-1, 2-1) and Destrehan each entered the night unbeaten in District 7-5A play. But with Destrehan falling to Terrebonne on Friday, Hahnville sits atop the district standings.

“It’s River Parish and the Bayou … South Louisiana football at its best,” said Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio. “It was two 5-0 teams playing for the driver’s seat in a very difficult district to navigate. We’ve had to come on the road and beat Terrebonne and Thibodaux. And we still have to go on the road to Destrehan. So if the title comes, it’ll be a title earned.”

Evans scored on a direct snap, lining up in the Wildcat formation, to make it 28-27 with 3:10 left to play. Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio elected to go for two on the point after attempt to take the lead. Hahnville opted for the sweep again, this time to the other side of the field, where Jerry Spencer raced to the corner to push HHS ahead 29-28.

Thibodaux attempted to bounce back on its next possession, but THS passer Luke Alleman couldn’t connect with his receivers while harassed by a hyped up Tigers
pass rush. Thibodaux turned the ball over on downs, and set up Evans for another rushing touchdown to make it 36-28 with 1:40 left. Hahnville forced a four-play turnover on downs to seal the victory.

Saltaformaggio said the Tigers’ aggressive playcalling offensively throughout the night was result of knowing the firepower Thibodaux had on its roster.

“We knew they could score. We knew what they had at their skill positions,” Saltaformaggio said. “A number of those guys were on Thibodaux’s state championship basketball team. 1, 5 and 3 … those guys have that competitive drive about them and they know how to win championships. You could see it from them all night.”

 

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