Hahnville, Destrehan look to finish strong in 2017

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

BOUTTE — The best football unit in the River Parishes might be the Hahnville High School offensive line.

The road-grating squad has cleared the way for the Tigers to average 388 yards rushing a game in 2017.

That has Hahnville at 3-2 and 2-0 in District 7-5A action.

“They have really taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, as far as creating an atmosphere of physicality in our football program,” HHS coach Nick Saltaformaggio said. “I am very pleased with the way those guys are playing across the board.”

Saltaformaggio, in his fourth year leading Hahnville, said the District is wide open in 2017, meaning some improvement on defense could lead to a “special year.”

“We are just trying to catch our breath, get a little healthy and get ready for the second half,” he added. “If I have any concern at all, it’s that we are not throwing the football at all. We only have 101 yards passing as team through five weeks.”

Defense is also a concern.

Hahnville is allowing 24 points-per-game in 2017.

“I don’t think you can win championships, whether it be District or State, when you are giving up as many points as we have been giving up,” Saltaformaggio said. “We have to find a way to put the breaks on the other team. I am worried about that.”

What there is no worry about is the running game.

Anthony Williams, who scored four touchdowns last week, is one of the state’s best players.

Quarterback Jha’quan Jackson is averaging more than 11 yards-a-carry and secondary runners Mike Gray Jr. and Darryle Evans Jr. are performing really well.

“Our District, top to bottom, is better than it has been the past couple of years,” Saltaformaggio said. “The last couple of years Destrehan was just so much better than everybody else. Now everybody has an opportunity.

“We’re excited about being 2-0 (in District,) but we’re a little beat up after a buzz saw four weeks.”

After losing two times in three weeks during mid-September, Destrehan closed the month solidly with a victory (24-6) over Thibodaux. The win improved DHS’ record to 3-2, 1-1 in District 7-5A play.

Macon Clark, left, and Aaron Buckwalter are part of a Destrehan defense allowing 19 points per game this season. The Wildcats are coming off their best performance.

John Emery (29 carries, 215 yards and a touchdown last week) is leading the way on offense with 682 yards this season and six touchdowns.

Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux has recently lauded his defensive coaches’ “great job” for getting the Wildcats guys prepared, especially against Thibodaux’s firepower.

Macon Clark, tackling machine, is also good on pass defense as the senior intercepted a pass last week and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown.

Interior linebacker Rob Hall, who has moved down into the box from the safety position, remains one of the team’s tackling leaders.

Destrehan has responded well to two loses this season and looks to eliminate the defeats altogether in the second of 2017 as District play heats up.

A home date against East St. John High looms this week.