Valdin candid about his team’s lack of running game

By Claude Adams

O.P. Walker Chargers next to face Tigers

Hahnville came out on a mission last Friday evening handing their former 6-5A district rivals a 38-point shellacking. The Tigers (2-0 overall, 0-0 5-5A) got off to a shaky start as they won the toss and elected to receive — only to fumble the kickoff. The defense took the field and forced Central Lafourche to a three and out, and for the second week in a row, the defensive front four found themselves in the opposing teams backfield frequently.Hahnville’s first score of the evening came on a 31-yard pass from Early James to Laron Byrd. Byrd made a difficult catch over the defender, pulling the pass in with one hand to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 2:59 in the first quarter. James finished the game completing four passes, averaging 25 yards per completion.

The Tiger defense gave the offense the ball less than a minute later when defensive lineman Wendell Boyd recovered a fumble at the Trojan 13-yard line. The Tiger offense was unable to punch the ball in and eventually turned the ball over on downs. The Tiger defense again put pressure on the Trojans and on fourth down the special team squad tackled the punter in the endzone after a bad snap. Hahnville went up 9-0 and never looked back.

After the game, Coach Lou Valdin was candid about his teams lack of running game. Said Valdin, “We have a 240 pound full back and they are still hitting us in the backfield.” Hahnville managed just 53-yards on the ground despite a concerted effort to run the ball with a lead for most of the game. In the first two weeks of the season Hahnville has uncharacteristically had to rely on the pass due to a stagnant running game, partly due to runningback Ivory Washington’s sprained ankle. Ivory Washington sat on the sideline for a second consecutive week with the ankle sprain. Washington was suited up and appeared ready to play this week but Valdin appeared in no hurry to play the junior runningback. “Coach [Valdin] said I could play if he needed me. I’m ready,” said Washington.

Hahnville quarterback Early James came out firing in the second quarter, finding wide out (and backup quarterback) B.J. Young open on a short crossing route. Young turned it into a 47-yard touchdown reception when the defender slipped to the turf.

Central Lafourche (0-2 overall) put together a drive on its next possession, taking the ball the length of the field, down to the Tiger 5-yard line. The drive ended when Hahnville defensive back Shaine Boyle stepped in front of a Neal Foret pass at the goal line and took it 100 yards for a Tiger touchdown. James found tight end Jordan Stephany on the left side for a two-point pass conversion to give Hahnville a 24-0 lead with over seven minutes left in the half.

Hahnville score again, this time with a one-yard run by Stephany after the offense was handed the ball at the Central Lafourche five by a ferocious Tiger defense. Hahnville junior linebacker Reggie Johnson finished the Tiger scoring when he stripped the football from a Central Lafourche runningback and took the ball 15-yards for a score to put Hahnville up 38-0 at the half.

Hahnville used the big halftime lead to play a host of backups in the second half. With the non-existence of 2005-2006 freshman football, most of the backups were on the field for the first time in two years, gaining valuable playing time that will benefit the team later in the season.

Next on the horizon for the Tigers is O.P Walker. The Chargers are 0-1 after a 48-28 loss against Destrehan last Friday in their first game since the 2004-2005 school year. Watch for Hahnville to continue to work on the running game in anticipation of a brutal district schedule and look for the re-emergence of Ivory Washington. Kick off at the Hahnville campus is at 7 p.m.


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