Hahnville has leaned upon its strong star rusher, Trey LaBranch, all season long, but he had the night off on Friday at District 7-5A foe H.L. Bourgeois.
Cole Villasenor seized his opportunity, and then some – the senior stepped into the starter’s role and scored four touchdowns to lift the Tigers to their fourth straight win, 42-17.
LaBranch was held out of the game in order to rest for upcoming matchups against Jesuit and Destrehan, but Hahnville scored north of 40 points for the fifth time this season. In his stead, Villasenor scored the Tigers’ first three touchdowns of the night, as well as its last. Andrew Naquin also connected with Collin Zeringue and Dakota Williams for touchdowns through the air.
Hahnville (5-1, 4-1) led 21-3 at halftime.
Bourgeois dropped to 2-4 overall, 1-4 in district.
HHS head coach Daniel Luquet said the team felt it was in good hands at running back between Villasenor and Jeremy White. He said Villasenor’s big game was a well-deserved chance to shine for a back who works hard at his craft each day.
“He’s a real hard-nosed kid, a program guy,” Luquet said. “He’s a guy who backs up Trey and really allows us the ability to not have to change what we do offensively. That’s the biggest reason we felt we could do what we did tonight … he’s a really hard runner, great in pass protection, a heck of a football player.
“He showed with four touchdowns tonight, when you call his number, he’s ready.”
Luquet said with Jesuit, Destrehan and the postseason looming, this week the Tigers opted to try to get LaBranch rested up for what will likely be a strong workload down the stretch.
“It was just to let him take a break. He’s our guy,” Luquet said. “We need our guy 100 percent moving forward.”
Williams and Zeringue getting in the endzone was also a welcome sight, Luquet said. Both players are part of a deep pass receiving corps, Williams at wide receiver and Zeringue at tight end and H-back.
“(Williams) is a talented kid, that 15 to 16 year old guy who is still learning how to play. He came in late last season and had a good run. He still hasn’t played 10 games as a varsity player … (as a deep threat) obviously teams try to take away that big play early in games and start rolling some things over. We thought it was good to get the ball out to him quickly (on Friday),” Luquet said.
Zeringue, meanwhile, is one of the Tigers’ more experienced offensive players, though at a new position this year after moving from the offensive line.
“He’s had 12 games in the system. He knows this offense, the intricate details and angles. He’s a big guy who’s also nimble … he got that touchdown tonight coming out the backfield. He did a good job,” Luquet said.