MATHEWS – For the second straight week, Central Lafourche held a halftime lead over a District 7-5A opponent.
And for the second straight week, the Trojans struggled to take care of business in the second half and ended up on the losing side of the scoreboard.
Hahnville erased an early 14-point deficit and picked up a 24-14 win over Central Lafourche in Trojans Stadium on Friday.
The Trojans led rival Terrebonne 17-13 at halftime last week before losing 25-17.
Central Lafourche, which celebrated senior night on Friday, jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Hahnville on Friday but struggled to get anything going offensively in the second half.
“We knew their defensive front was really good,” Central Lafourche coach Keith Menard said. “I thought our defense played really well. We just didn’t do enough offensively. Our defense stayed on the field too long and offensively we just couldn’t get it done. We had a couple of decent drives offensively but never could finish them.”
Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio said the comeback win was a big one for the Tigers, who improved to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in district. Hahnville was ranked at No. 30 in this week’s Class 5A state power ratings and needed a win to stay in the Top 32 for the playoffs.
“When you’re going through the kind of a year we’re going through, it says a lot about our kids because they could’ve just sat back and said here we go again, but they continued to fight,” Saltaformaggio said. “Our kids are resilient kids. We really played well in the second half, and we kind of got in a groove on offense. We are lucky to get the win. I think this puts us into the playoffs, so we’re happy for that.”
Central Lafourche’s special teams unit got things started when Jacob David blocked a punt that was recovered by Jansen Folse at the Tigers’ 12-yard line.
It took the Trojans just one play to score when Deon Jenkins (22 carries, 70 yards) burst up the middle on a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 after an extra point attempt by Gavin Lasseigne with 10:15 left in the first quarter.
Hahnville’s offense moved the ball into Trojans territory on its next drive but Garrett Ordoyne recovered a fumble by Tigers quarterback Drew Naquin at the Central Lafourche 37.
Following a 44-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Barker (9-of-19 passing, 115 yards) to Jansen Folse, Central Lafourche scored again on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Barker to Logan Wilcox to make it 14-0 Trojans with 2:09 left in the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, the Trojans defense got an interception from David on a deep pass at their 35-yard line.
Hahnville’s defense stepped up later in the second quarter by disrupting several Trojans drives.
The Tigers scored their first points on a 36-yard touchdown run from Brandon Comardelle (11 carries, 37 yards) with 5:58 left in the second quarter. Hahnville kicker Ethan Chacon later made a 22-yard field goal to cut the Trojans’ lead to 14-9 at halftime.
In the second half, Hahnville (190 total yards, 105 rushing, 85 passing) controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage.
The Tigers got a 3-yard touchdown run from Comardelle on fourth down. Jha’Quan Jackson ran in the two-point conversion to put Hahnville ahead 17-14 with 3:02 left in the third quarter.
On the next drive, Hahnville’s defense got a sack fumble on Barker, which was recovered and returned 20 yards for a touchdown by Logan Brimmer to extend the Tigers lead to 24-14 with 2:01 left in the third quarter.
Central Lafourche (184 total yards, 69 rushing, 115 passing) had two possessions in Hahnville territory in the fourth quarter, but both drives ended with a missed field goal attempt and a turnover on downs.
Saltaformaggio said Hahnville knew it would be a tough challenge to slow down Central Lafourche’s offense.
“Out of everybody we play, I think Keith Menard does the very best job coaching his kids,” Saltaformaggio said. “He gives you a lot of things and formations to look at offensively. He makes great use of his players, so we had to make sure we lined up right. It’s tough to prepare for them, but our kids played well in the second half and we were able to get out of here with a win.”
Central Lafourche (ranked No. 18 in this week’s Class 5A state power ratings) needed a win over Hahnville to possibly get a home playoff game in the first-round of the Class 5A state playoffs this season.
Although that goal will be tough to get after Friday’s loss, Menard said the Trojans will shift their attention to closing out the regular season strong with a road game at rival Thibodaux next week.
“We can’t go back and replay this one,” Menard said. “All we can do is get ready for Thibodaux and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to start work (today) and figure it out.”