Hahnville, Destrehan enter into District 8-5A play

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012



BOUTTE — Hahnville has never been 0-4 under coach Lou Valdin. Until now.

The Tigers played an unforgiving predistrict slate: between Karr, Lutcher, St. Augustine and McDonogh No. 35, each team was ranked or began the season ranked in its respective classification.

But now, the Tigers can find solace in the fact that on Thursday night, it will open District 8-5A play on the road against Bonnabel (3-1) at Muss Bertolino Stadium in Kenner. And a string of wins from now until the end of the season can render the 0-4 start largely irrelevant, as the district champion earns an automatic bid to the postseason.

But for that to happen, the Tigers must cure some ills, said coach Lou Valdin.

“We have to be able to run the ball. We couldn’t at all on Friday,” said Valdin, speaking of his team’s 29-21 loss to McDonogh No. 35. “And we need to protect the ball. Turnover differential is the number one stat in football, and we aren’t taking care of it.

“When we force turnovers, we aren’t taking advantage. So we’ve got some work to do.”

The Tigers, along with East St. John and Higgins, earned a share of the district championship last season.

The road to repeating that feat, or winning the district outright, starts with Bonnabel, a run-heavy team that already holds one victory over a River Parish foe — a 21-14 win at West St. John in the season’s second week.

The Bruins are led by quarterback Kevin Banks and a stable of rushers headed by Darius Gardner.

Banks is a dangerous runner that Valdin said presents a number of problems for a defense.

“With any quarterback that can run, it makes you basically account for an extra running back,” said Valdin. “So you’ve got to keep extra guys up to account for that. We’ve played a lot of teams that have really athletic quarterbacks, though, so I feel like we’re pretty well-prepared.”

Bonnabel’s defense has been stout, allowing 14 points or less in all but one game — the Bruins’ lone loss, to St. Thomas Aquinas, by a 38-10 score.

It’s kicking game is also solid — Daniel Velazquez has a strong and accurate leg that might come into play, particularly if Thursday turns into a defensive struggle.

But Valdin is more concerned with the players on his own sideline; Hahnville must execute better, he says, or it will soon face a lost season.


Destrehan (2-2) couldn’t top its second ranked Class 5A foe in two weeks Friday night, when Dutchtown’s high-powered offense proved too much in a 42-21 win over their former district foe.

The Wildcats enter district play 2-2 and have a date on the road with 2011 district co-champion Higgins on Friday night.

The Hurricanes enter the game with a 1-2 mark, but DHS coach Stephen Robicheaux said that his concern lies with the fact that Higgins’ two losses came in its first two games, before an offensive change in philosophy led to a 26-7 victory over Brother Martin last week.

“They began the season running a spread offense, and it wasn’t that successful for them. They regrouped and last week they went back to the things that made them successful,” said Robicheaux. “Power-I, split backs, straight at you… They’re a better team than that record indicates.”

Higgins’ quarterback Rhyidh Wilson was dominant on Friday, rushing for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Tailback Theron Williams added 61 yards and a pair of scores.

Robicheaux said that Higgins’ size up front on defense always presents an issue, and that the Bruins have playmakers that can hurt you in the secondary and in the linebacking corps.

The Hurricanes like to bring pressure, which will test a Destrehan offensive line that has played well through four games.

“Our line has played well all year, so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle a team like Higgins that attacks a little differently,” said Robicheaux.