These are uncharted waters for Hahnville.
The Tigers headed into their three-game stretch against Riverside, Destrehan and St. Thomas More eager to measure themselves against a trio of perennial championship contenders.
Instead, the past three weeks have turned into a nightmare for Hahnville. The offense struggled in a 10-7 loss to Riverside. The defense failed in the team’s 48-23 loss to Destrehan. And, last week, St. Thomas More dominated in all phases in a 52-12 romp in Lafayette.
“It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been in this kind of predicament as a coach,” Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio said. “This just doesn’t happen at Hahnville. It shouldn’t, anyway.
“I’d have never thought we’d be 2-3 at this point. And certainly, never to get blown out in that fashion.”
Saltaformaggio wouldn’t use the timing of the St. Thomas More game as an excuse for a flat effort, a road trip to Lafayette coming a week after the Tigers’ traditional rivalry clash with Destrehan.
“I would hope that wasn’t the case,” Saltaformaggio said. “That’s not how we think and it’s not how we coach. We treat every game as very important. For us, the first thing we need to do is find our will and desire to play for Hahnville High School. At some point, we’ve got to take care of ourselves. We’ve got to get ourselves better, regardless of who is next on the schedule.”
The Tigers (2-3, 0-1) will attempt to turn things around at Terrebonne Friday night, where HHS returns to District 7-5A action (the St. Thomas More game was a non-district contest). Like Hahnville, Terrebonne has lost three in a row since beginning the season 2-0. Terrebonne (2-3, 0-2) lost to Destrehan 47-21 last week.
Terrebonne runs a shotgun-spread attack — as have Hahnville’s previous five opponents this season.
Last season, the two teams engaged in a shootout, with Hahnville winning 59-35 in Boutte. Hahnville rushed for over 300 yards in a game that Saltaformaggio points out was closer than the final score indicated — Terrebonne trailed by only a touchdown when the fourth quarter began.
“They’ve got some very, very good skill players,” Saltaformaggio said. “Their top wide receiver (Blake Verrett) is a big threat. They’ve got a sophomore quarterback (Blake Turner) who seems beyond his years. He runs that offense really well. They’re big and strong up front.”
Saltaformaggio also noted running back Joseph Alvis (who scored twice against Destrehan) and defensive tackle De’onta Walters as players who cause concern.
The Tigers’ coach also said he expects to see an especially motivated Terrebonne team on the field this week.
“I know if I were coaching a team that’s traditionally lost to Hahnville, looking at what we’ve done over the past few weeks, I’d be telling my kids that this our chance to lay a whoopin’ on Hahnville,” Saltaformaggio said. “I’m telling them this is our year to get them.
“So for us, just like I said we have to find our will, we have to take theirs. We have to step up and play a physical game, a tough game, and reestablish ourselves. Because the way teams are going to look at us right now, they’ll see us as vulnerable … We’re going to improve this week. How much we improve, or whether that’s enough, it remains to be seen. We have to find ourselves.”