Hahnville’s unbeaten run ended at the hands of Jesuit Friday night , the Blue Jays handing the Tigers their first loss of the season, 24-14.
Jesuit (6-3) did it in classic Jays fashion, behind a physical rushing attack keyed by quarterback Grant Jordan and a disciplined defense that kept Hahnville from generating explosive plays.
“We’ve gotta learn from these types of games,” said Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio. “The reason you schedule a Jesuit is you want to play a good football team, and that’s obviously what they are. I thought we played pretty well, but they were just better than us tonight.
“Jesuit understands the tradition and history of the game, and not just on Friday night. Tomorrow morning, they’ll understand it. All week long, they’ll understand it. For us, it’s still a process of learning that, which we’re going through a little bit. We’ve got some talented kids. This is what it is, and ultimately it just means we won’t go undefeated.”
The Blue Jays led 10-0 at halftime before marching for a touchdown early in the third quarter to make it a three-score game at 17-0, on Jordan’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Luke Besh in the corner of the endzone.
Hahnville (8-1) fought back to earn its first points of the night when quarterback Drew Naquin ran in a score from 24 yards out to make it 17-7 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
But Jesuit answered to keep it a three score game, Jordan running off tackle to take it into the endzone for a 24-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. Naquin combined with Chance Tregle on a short touchdown pass to cut the lead to 10, but the Hahnville offense couldn’t find any more traction – nor much more opportunity, as Jesuit controlled the ball via the run for much of the fourth quarter.
Jesuit scored on a first-half run by Radar Jackson and an Aiden Corbello field goal.
“They pushed us around. We didn’t stop them,” Saltaformaggio said.
Though the loss no doubt stung, the veteran coach had talked of the difficulty of his team’s final two week stretch of the regular season as reason why a fast start was necessary. An 8-0 start means the Tigers earned that cushion, and were the playoffs to start today the team would likely still be a top 10 seed in 5A.
An outright District 7-5A championship is still in reach as well, but to earn more than a split, Hahnville will have to go through archrival Destrehan next week in the always red hot parish rivalry matchup.
“Two years ago, we lost to Brother Martin and went on to make a long run from there,” Saltaformaggio said. “Hopefully we learn from this like we learned from that night.”