St. Charles Herald-Guide’s High School PLAYMAKERS

Steib makes mark in first Hahnville victory of season

Hahnville running back Jai Steib loves contact – and that’s evident to anyone who watches him play the game of football.The senior running back led his team to a 32-12 win over Helen Cox, rushing for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Along the way, he broke plenty of tackles and delivered several punishing hits to any defenders foolish enough to get in his way.

“I was always a contact kid, even when I was little,” Steib said. “My dad noticed that and signed me up for football when I was younger. I have just stuck with it ever since.”

Steib first began to play the game when he was in the 7 and 8 year-old league in recreation. Even when he wasn’t playing, Steib says he would find any piece of land that was big enough to showcase his skills. That dedication paid off, and when he was in eighth grade, he had the most broken tackles on the team.

Last year, during his junior season, Steib rushed for 515 yards on 114 carries and finished with 12 touchdowns. This year, Steib looks to shatter those stats.

But the season got off to a rough start for the senior. He and his team were shut down offensively in an overtime loss to South Plaquemine. In that game, Hahnville finished with -1 rushing yards. But after a week of working hard on the running game, the Tigers were able to rebound against Helen Cox to pick up their first win of the season.

“I think we played great against Helen Cox,” Steib said. “The offensive line did a good job of holding their blocks and we were ready to play. We didn’t play well in our first game, but we made a lot of improvement.”

And Steib hopes that improvement continues when Hahnville takes on O.P. Walker, who is the second ranked team in 4A.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Steib said. “They are a good football team, but we just need to stick with what we do and follow our gameplan.”

DHS’s Smothers efficiently leading Wildcat offense

Coming into the 2008 season, it seemed like Destrehan had a legitimate chance of repeating as state champions if they could find consistency on offense.

So far, that consistency is coming from first-time starter Wynrick Smothers.

In the Wildcat’s 42-14 win over Terrebonne, Smothers finished with three touchdown passes – all coming in the first half.

He connected on a 37-yard strike to wide receiver Corey Vidal to give his team an early 7-0 lead, then helped stretch the Destrehan advantage to 21-0 on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Vidal.

In the second quarter, Smothers found receiver Brandon Armstrong for a 6-yard score, giving him 141 passing yards in the victory.

Against St. James, in the Wildcat’s first win of the season. Smothers was also impressive.

He connected on 12 of his 18 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns to lead Destrehan to a 35-7 win.

In two games, Smothers has completed 23 of his 31 pass attempts for 348 yards and five touchdowns.

He has only thrown one interception. That’s good enough for a 174 yards per game average and a 74.2 percent completion rate.


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