Second half surge propels Tigers past SJH

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2011



DESTREHAN — It took just 3:15 of the second half in its jamboree contest with St. James for Hahnville to cast aside any lingering memories of a poor scrimmage performance in the week prior.

The Tigers provided a highlight in all three phases of the game in that stretch, scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams to fuel a decisive 33-8 victory over the Wildcats.

“We played fast, hit hard and got off the ball,” said Hahnville coach Lou Valdin. “They got outside of us on a couple of runs, so we need to address that. But I was happy in that we were pretty physical on defense.

“We’re replacing eight starters on defense. We needed to see those guys under the lights. It’s something to build on.”

Hahnville recorded five sacks in the first half.

“The good news is when you’ve got the guys we have in the secondary,” Valdin said, “you can blitz and you can take chances. We got some guys loose and they made plays.”

The Tigers led 12-0 at halftime, but quickly put the game away. Ernest Thompson got things started, scoring his second touchdown of the night on the opening kickoff of the second half, taking it 89 yards to paydirt to push Hahnville ahead 19-0.

On the first play of St. James’ ensuing drive, Hahnville’s Jamon Lathers stripped Wildcats’ running back LaRohn Cambre and James Poree scooped it up and scored, giving HHS two scores within two plays and the first 24 seconds of the half.

Finally, after forcing a three and out, Hahnville’s offense got in on things when quarterback Easton Melancon found Ronnie Green wide open down the sideline. Green rolled in for a 54-yard touchdown and made it 33-0.

St. James would score in the game’s late stages when Shaquille Narcisse found Cambre behind the Tiger defense for a 70-yard touchdown pass.

Craig Ford hit a 38-yard field goal for the Tigers in the first half. Hahnville also recorded a safety and an Ernest Thompson 3-yard touchdown run.

The Tigers scored no points until their fourth trip inside the St. James 20, but more than made up for the slow start with its second half surge.

Of more immediate concern to St. James than the loss itself could be the health of running back Kenneth Armant, the team’s leading rusher from a year ago. Armant left the game early in the first half with an apparent leg injury.

St. James coach James Bell said Armant’s status was yet to be determined.

“He’s one of our best players. A Division I prospect … there’s nothing you can do about it,” said Bell. “You hate to see it for his sake. It might have shaken our guys up. But that’s part of the process. We’ve got a lot of young guys that have to learn to play though it.”

Valdin was also happy with his team’s work in the kicking game.

“One big goal of this is to get to see our special teams on the field, and to get out with no injuries.

“We didn’t punt tonight, but that’s not always a bad thing. We had couple of guys banged up but not anything that seems serious.”

Bell said that Hahnville size and numbers advantage made things difficult, but that he felt like his team was continuing to improve from the early summer stages.

He noted the opening kick return of the second half as a big turning point, though, and that coverage in that area would be a point of emphasis.

“I always say that’s the most important down in football, the kicking down,” he said. “No doubt we need to make some more strides in that area.”