HHS, DHS meet with first place at stake

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 25, 2000

BOUTTE – Hahnville-Destrehan, already a hot rivalry, heats up even more Friday night.

That game at Hahnville’s Tiger Stadium will feature two teams with a combined record of 15-1. Hahnville enters with an 8-0 record and isranked 11th in the state in Class 5A. Destrehan is 7-1 with a 16th-placeranking. Both teams are also in the top 10 in the latest power pointstandings.

First place in District 7-5A is on the line. Hahnville is 4-0 in district, ahalf-game up on Destrehan (4-1) and a game up on East St. John (3-1). Avictory clinches the district title for the Tigers while a Destrehan win coupled with an East St. John win over South Terrebonne creates a three-way tie with a week to go. A Destrehan win and an East St. John loss givesDestrehan its fifth straight district title.

Destrehan has won the last four games in the series. The last Hahnvillewin came in 1995, the last year the Tigers went to the state championship game and the last time the Wildcats did not win the district championship.

Both teams are coming off victories. Destrehan defeated South Lafourcheat home, 25-14, in District 7-5A play, while Hahnville took a 44-6 non- district win over Brother Martin at home.

Hahnville dominated all three facets of the game against the Crusaders.

The Tigers gained 542 yards behind a balanced attack. Dawan Landrycompleted 12 of his 19 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns.

Hahnville also rushed for 254 yards, led by Landry with 132 yards and two touchdowns. The four touchdowns gave Landry a River Parishes-high 17 forthe season. Lionel Evans led the receivers with two catches for 109 yards.Mark Young had three catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.

While the offense was continuing to put up gaudy numbers, the defense was once again holding the opposition in check. Brother Martin was held to178 yards in offense, 89 coming on the ground, and 12 first downs.

Through the first eight games, Hahnville has allowed a total of 79 points.

Defensive tackles Al Fiffie and Lloyd Brimmer have combined for 24 sacks.

“We’re playing real good against the run and that’s big,” Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said.

Destrehan’s defense has also been overshadowed by its offense but has allowed a district low 54 points through the first eight games. AgainstSouth Lafourche Friday, the Wildcats allowed 309 yards but held the Tarpons three times inside the 30.

“I think with the 50 defense, you want to force them to drive and let them make mistakes,” Destrehan head coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “You don’twant to give up the big play. You force them to drive and all of a sudden,they make a mistake and hopefully you can capitalize on those mistakes.”Destrehan had only 10 possessions against the Tarpons, but did a good job of cashing in, scoring on four of them. The defense recovered a fumble andreturned an interception inside South Lafourche territory, setting up 10 points. The Wildcats also converted a short punt by the Tarpons into atouchdown.

“Our defense put us into a position where we didn’t have to go far to score,” Robicheaux said.

The Wildcats’ longest drive of the game came at the start of the second half when they drove 85 yards in nine plays for a touchdown to increase the lead to 25-8.

“The offense coming out on the field at the beginning of the second half and driving for a touchdown was a big part of the game,” Robicheaux said.

Destrehan had 185 yards of offense in the game. Randy Roth completed 12of his 20 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns, increasing his season totals to 1,653 yards and 16 touchdowns. Fred Smith caught three of thepasses for 43 yards. The sophomore now has 36 catches for 830 yards and10 touchdowns. Dechad Ward scored twice, giving him 12 touchdowns onthe year.

Valdin said the key to the game for his team will be containing that passing attack of the Wildcats and being able to maintain the ball when the Tigers’ offense is on the field.

“Offensively, we want to be able to run the ball and control the clock and the tempo,” Valdin said. “Defensively, we want to keep their receivers infront of us and put a lot of heat on Roth.”Destrehan has bounced back from a 17-14 loss to East St. John last monthto win three straight district games to get back in the thick of the race.

With both teams battling for the lead, it only adds to the intensity of the St. Charles Parish championship game.”We have a shot at the district title and that’s all we can ask for,” Robicheaux said. “They have a lot of tradition and a good team. We’reexcited and they’re excited. It should be a good one.”Destrehan clinched its fourth straight district title last year with a 38-6 victory over Hahnville. The Wildcats held the Tigers to 183 yards andforced three turnovers.

Hahnville closes out the season next week at Thibodaux while Destrehan hosts Hammond in a non-district matchup.

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