Fresh off of a 27-0 victory at East St. John, Hahnville has now notched wins over its two chief District 7-5A and River Parish rivals, and the Tigers are riding high.But the journey is nowhere near complete, says Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio, and there is plenty of work left to be done.
“We’re still chasing the rabbit,” he said. “We’re not there yet. I gave our kids the whole Mount Everest analogy. There are a lot of bodies 10 feet from the top of Mount Everest. We want to get to the top. We want to plant the flag. So now, we might be five feet from the top, but we’re not done.”
This Friday night, Hahnville hosts Central Lafourche in the Tigers’ homecoming game. It will be one of two district games remaining—with a win, HHS clinches a share of the 7-5A crown. With wins in each of the next two games, the Tigers would win its first outright district championship since 2012, when Hahnville went unbeaten in district play.
Central Lafourche (3-5, 1-3) brings a high-scoring offense to Boutte. The Trojans have been in four consecutive games that were decided within 10 points, going 2-2 in that stretch. But CLHS has lost two in a row, to Destrehan, 28-21, and to Terrebonne, 34-28.
The offense attacks from all angles, but the team’s chief weapon is 6-foot-3 wide receiver David Robinson, who the team utilizes both on deep balls and close to the line of scrimmage on screens and sweeps.
“He’s a tall kid with exceptional hands,” Saltaformaggio said. “He really stands out when you put the tape on. He’s an exceptional football player and, in my eyes, probably the best receiver in our district.”
Quarterback Jacob Barker runs the offense with proficiency, and sophomore running back Deon Jenkins is a dangerous playmaker.
“And their offensive line is physical,” Saltaformaggio said. “Coach (Keith) Menard does a great job with their system. They’ll run sweeps at you, get out on the perimeter … they’ll run multiple screens on the same play. They’ll set up two separate ones. They know where you’re weak. If they can run it on you inside, that’s what they’ll do, or they’ll test your perimeter. I’m very impressed with what they do offensively.”
Hahnville (6-2, 4-0) will have to overcome the loss of receiver Jamel Byrd, who was an imposing target downfield for the Tigers and a punishing run blocker.
“We’ve got a couple of others dinged, as well. We want to get through these two weeks healthy, but we also want to keep playing well as we advance through the season and into the postseason,” Saltaformaggio said.