Bulldogs, Tigers to square off again at Lutcher

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2011



LUTCHER — Lutcher coach Tim Detillier loves to use the analogy of a heavyweight fight to describe a contest between state powers. The annual Lutcher-Hahnville clash has certainly fit the bill.

Detillier said this clash with Hahnville will be yet another challenge.

“I sound like a broken record, I know,” he began. “But for the fourth straight week, we’re facing a team that’s bigger, faster and stronger. We play these teams for a reason. We can’t simulate them on the practice field. Teams like Destrehan and Hahnville expose your weaknesses. They show you what you need to work on to become a complete football team.”

Detillier said that he anticipates a balanced attack from the Tigers (1-1).

“I think they’d rather run, but they can do both, run and pass,” said Detillier. “And with Hahnville, I always think of them as a defensive team. This year is no exception. They’ve very good in the secondary, which could present some issues.”

Valdin did not disagree with Detillier’s assessment of what he would like to see his team do on Friday. He made it clear: if the Tigers are going to win, it will begin with the run.

“Run the football,” he said. “This is always the type of game where great players make great plays. They’ve got a great player in (running back Daniel Taylor). He’s given us problems in the past. We don’t have that right now. So we’ve got to run the ball and keep him off the field.”

Valdin was pleased with the improvement he saw in his defense in Friday night’s 56-0 win at home over Istrouma, noting improved tackling and a stout effort stopping the run.

Offensively, Tigers quarterback Easton Melancon accounted for four touchdowns, including scoring passes to Kailon Carter, Ronnie Greene and Jaylon Bryant.

The coach also noted the game’s location as something his team must overcome. Lutcher just opened their new stadium on Friday, rebuilt after a fire caused severe damage late last season.

“You’re playing at Lutcher. So you know it will be a big emotional deal for them,” he said.

It seemed that way on Friday in Lutcher’s 42-14 win over the Roneagles. McDonogh No. 35 entered as the No. 7 ranked team in Class 4A after a victory over St. Augustine in the season’s first week; Lutcher was ranked sixth.

But quarterback Ruston Matherne accounted for four touchdowns. Those included scores for DiJohn Payne, Jared Poche and Sully Martin.

Taylor rushed for 198 yards and two scores on 25 carries. LHS rushed for 385 yards overall.

“We played with emotion, but we were under control,” said Detillier. “We made some mistakes but when you play that hard for 48 minutes, you can overcome that sometimes. It was a great team effort.”

ST. JAMES AT PATTERSON — St. James has dealt with significant injury, heartbreaking defeat and a murderous pre-district schedule through the early days of first year Wildcat coach James Bell’s tenure. That last note continues in full with Patterson, last year’s state runner up in Class 3A.

Patterson no longer boasts sensational running back Kenny Hilliard, who graduated and moved on to LSU. But it hasn’t mattered so far; the Lumberjacks opened their season last week (after a cancellation brought on by Tropical Storm Lee) with a 36-0 win over Central Lafourche.

“They’ve done a good job in recent years and obviously are coming off of a really good season,” said St. James coach James Bell. “They seem to be picking up where they left off. A lot of good seniors, strong at the skill positions and adequate depth. It’s a tall task, but we haven’t played anyone easy.”

The Wildcats have had to deal with key injuries so far, most notably to its 2010 leading rusher and one of its top players, Kenneth Armant, who injured his leg in the jamboree against Hahnville, and to offensive lineman Jamal Cureau.

Bell said that building some depth, especially along the offensive and defensive lines, is of the utmost importance.

“Getting guys into the right spots to be successful, playing hard and playing solid and steady football throughout the game, that’s what will give us a chance to win games in the fourth quarter,” he said.

St. James fell on the road at Destrehan last week. The Wildcats scored their lone first half touchdown on a 91-yard interception return by Rashaan Dennis. Junius Champagne and Lester Verret added touchdown runs in the fourth quarter for SJH.

KARR AT DESTREHAN – Destrehan is 2-0 and Karr is 0-2 entering Friday’s game between the teams. But Destrehan isn’t likely to see an easy victory, not with a talented Karr team playing with backs against the wall.

Karr fell to St. Paul’s Week 1 and to Arlington Bowie (Texas) in Week 2. The Class 4A runner-up of a year ago brings back just four starters.

Last week, Destrehan rolled up 31 points in the first half en route to a 45-22 win over St. James.

Rickey Jefferson was the star of the night, scoring on three different big plays; a 46-yard pass and a 66-yard pass from Dent, and on a 69-yard run.

Mark Trudeaux, Myron Smith and Kevin Smith also each added touchdowns for the Wildcats. Dent finished his night with three touchdown passes.