Destrehan, Hahnville renew major rivalry

Published 3:42 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012



The playoff picture for three local teams revolves around one very important rivalry game this weekend.

While Destrehan vs. Hahnville will carry hype no matter where each rests in the standings, this one will have supporters at both schools — and at mutual rival East St. John — eyeing the scoreboard with the eye of a hawk.

On the line:

•For Hahnville, an outright district championship. As Tigers’ coach Lou Valdin said after his team clinched at least a share of the District 8-5A crown on Friday, “We don’t want to share.” The Tigers can also potentially move up the power point rankings with a victory; as of today, according to Hahnville is ranked 29th and would be in line for a rematch with fourth-ranked West Monroe, who eliminated HHS in the first round of last year’s postseason, 49-14.

•For Destrehan, survival. Destrehan is currently ranked 36th in power points. DHS would need to vault into at least the top 32 and to have a chance, Destrehan must win.

•For East St. John, a potential share of the District 8-5A crown; a Destrehan win coupled with an ESJ win would accomplish that.

Of course, it is Destrehan/Hahnville, and as such carries an aura in the River Region as Hahnville coach Lou Valdin has said before, “the freaking Super Bowl.”

“In St. Charles Parish, there really are no neutral people. You’re either a Hahnville person or a Destrehan person.”

Destrehan must turn around a slump that began two weeks ago in the middle of the fourth quarter of DHS’ loss at East St. John. Destrehan led 34-21 in that game, but ESJ rallied to score twice in the final five minutes of play to notch the win.

Last week, Destrehan suffered another heart-wrenching defeat, losing 22-21 to Bonnabel on a late field goal. Destrehan led 21-12 late in the third quarter of that game.

“No doubt, this is a big game. For us, after two really tough losses, we’ve got a pretty good chance to play ourselves in,” said Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux. “This team hasn’t been to the playoffs the last two years, so guys are excited for the chance.”

The Hahnville defense has turned up the heat in district play, allowing just 41 total points over four games, and just six over the last two. Destrehan began district play on fire, scoring 41, 42 and 34 points in its first three games before falling to last week’s 21-point effort.

DHS’ Will Mathews has yet to rush for less than 100-yards in 8-5A play, since earning the starting position at tailback.

“Destrehan typically has been pretty pass-happy. You typically went in and played nickel all game … but they’re really balanced now. (Donovan) Isom has total command at quarterback and with him running it, you have to basically account for two tailbacks. And Mathews is extremely quick. He knows how to run.”

 Likewise, Hahnville’s Sergio Medina has taken off as the Tigers’ starting running back — he has been the team’s offensive centerpiece since moving over from the defensive side. Last week, he rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.

“They play great defense, they’re physical and they run it well. They’re a typical Hahnville team,” said Robicheaux.

“It’s a major challenge. But we have hope, and we’re looking forward to getting out there.”