Griffins come back, fall in 2OT to Hahnville
BOUTTE – Facing a three-touchdown deficit at halftime, the Dutchtown Griffins mounted a strong second-half comeback to send their District 6-5A game against Hahnville to extra frames Friday night.
However, a blocked extra point and resulting touchdown and two-point conversion by Jai Steib in the second overtime gave Hahnville a 49-48 win in a thrilling contest at Fighting Tiger Stadium.
The loss dropped the Griffins to 6-1 on the season and 2-1 in district play heading into Friday’s home contest with St. Amant, while Hahnville moved to 5-2 on the season and 2-1 in league play with the win before hosting East St. John Friday.
The Griffins now sit tied with Hahnville for second place in the league, behind undefeated Destrehan (7-0, 3-0). The Griffins travel to face the Wildcats in their season finale in two weeks.
“I’m very proud of my team,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “They fought so hard to come back like they did. The heart these guys have to fight and claw and come back from that kind of deficit is tremendous. It was a great effort and a great football game. We just came up a point short tonight.”
Saia said that overcoming a first-half filled with penalties and miscues was difficult, but he knew his players could answer the call.
“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong in the first half,” Saia said. “Blocked punts, penalties. I told them at halftime, ‘I can’t tell you if we’ll win or lose, but this second half is going to determine what kind of season we’re going to have.’ If we would have laid down, they’d have put 70 on us. We battled back and made plays on both sides of the ball. I’m proud as I can be of these guys.”
Dutchtown won the total yardage battle, collecting 367 yards of offense to Hahnville’s 277 yards. Hahnville was also penalized 15 times for 103 yards, while Dutchtown was flagged six times for 35 yards.
Senior Griffin running back Eddie Lacy carried the load on offense for Dutchtown, rushing 30 times for 228 yards and six touchdowns, including the two overtime scores. He also caught one pass for a 48-yard touchdown in regulation. Fellow senior Kelvin York rushed 14 times for 56 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore Ephrem Reed carried three times for 32 yards.
Dutchtown senior quarterback Wesley Perkins finished with 43 yards and a touchdown through the air, completing two of his 10 pass attempts.
For Hahnville, Alfred Blue led the rushing attack with 147 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. He also caught two passes for 24 yards and a touchdown. Teammate Jai Steib ran for 29 yards on 11 carries, but scored the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion in the second overtime. Steib also caught one pass for 30 yards.
Hahnville quarterback Guiseppe Crovetto had a 7-for-10 night in passing for 74 yards and three touchdowns.
Both teams also suffered from fumbles in the game, with Dutchtown putting the ball on the ground three times and losing each of the fumbles. Hahnville fumbled twice, turning the ball over on one occasion.
Hahnville also blocked three Dutchtown kick attempts in the contest, getting hands on a pair of punts and the blocked extra-point try in the second overtime.
Tied at 35-35 in the first overtime, Hahnville scored on a second-down pass connection from Crovetto to Blaise Dempster in the end zone. Dutchtown got a hand on kicker Brandon Larousse’s extra-point try, sending the ball straight up into the air before it listed to the left and away from the upright, leaving Hahnville ahead 41-35.
On its possession, Lacy stormed into the end zone on a 10-yard, first-down run for the touchdown. However, Hahnville blocked Grant Auzenne’s extra-point attempt to leave the game knotted at 41-41 and force a second overtime.
After an offsides penalty on Hahnville moved the ball to the 5-yard line, Lacy again toted the ball into the end zone for the touchdown. Auzenne added the PAT kick to put Dutchtown ahead for the first time in the game, 48-41.
Hahnville would also score on its possession, with Steib carrying into the end zone from a yard out for the touchdown. Steib again carried on the two-point conversion try, crossing the goal line for the win.
“It was a story of halves: We controlled the first half and they controlled the second half,” Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said. “They just overpowered us in the second half to come back like they did. They have talent on both sides of the ball. We tried a few different things tonight that worked early, but they were able to adjust in the second half.
“I thought we did a good job of containing them early. Blocking the two punts also helped. We knew Dutchtown was a very physical team, so we had to use our speed on both sides of the ball to counter that. It was a very exciting game between two very good ballclubs.”
Hahnville opened the game’s scoring in the first quarter when, after blocking an Auzenne punt attempt deep in Griffin territory, Corvetto found James Butler in the end zone from three yards out for the score. Larousse added the extra point to put Hahnville ahead 7-0 with 8:19 remaining in the first quarter.
Dutchtown answered the Tiger touchdown on its next drive, as Lacy took the Perkins handoff and ran around the offensive left side and into the end zone. Auzenne added the PAT kick to tie the contest at 7-7 with 6:16 left on the clock.
Hahnville regained the lead on its next possession, as Crovetto found Blue in the end zone from 11 yards away for a touchdown. With Larousse’s kick, the Tigers took a 14-7 lead at the 2:00 mark in the quarter.
After stalling on its first drive of the second quarter, Dutchtown had its second punt blocked and recovered by Hahnville at the Griffin 21. Hahnville later scored on an 11-yard run by Blue. Larousse toed in the extra-point kick to advance Hahnvile’s lead to 21-7 with 8:32 remaining in the half.
After recovering a Lacy fumble, Hahnville began a drive that moved the Tigers down the field to the Griffin 4, where Blue took the pitch and ran into the end zone for the touchdown. Hahnville’s lead moved to 28-7 after Larousse added the extra point with 2:08 left in the half.
After Reed returned the ensuing kick to the Griffin 41, Dutchtown again turned the ball over on a fumble. This time, Hahnville’s Ben Taylor recovered the loose ball at the Dutchtown 40. Two plays later, Blue broke loose on a 34-yard touchdown run. The score and Larousse’s successful kick put Dutchtown in a 35-7 hole with just over a minute remaining in the half.
Just before the halftime horn, Dutchtown broke their scoring drought when Perkins connected with Lacy on a 52-yard, catch-and-run touchdown. Auzenne booted the PAT kick through the uprights to close the gap at 35-14 at the half.
Dutchtown held Hahnville to a three-and-out drive on the first possession of the second half. After having to punt away on the ensuing drive, Dutchtown would regain possession after recovering a Hahnville fumble at the Tiger 23. Lacy later ran the ball into the end zone from 12 yards out for the only touchdown scored in the period by either team. With Auzenne’s kick, Dutchown closed the gap to 14 points, 35-21, with 5:25 left in the period.
Dutchtown later scored two touchdowns in the fourth period on runs of 10 and 5 yards by Lacy to tie the game at 35-35 with just under 11 minutes in regulation.
Dutchtown looked to capitalize on good field position, moving inside the Hahnville 20 before Lacy fumbled for the second time in the game, giving Hahnville the ball deep in their own territory before the Tigers were forced to punt away.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Griffins again turned the ball over when Perkins lost the ball on a sack, with Hahnville recovering at the Griffin 42. Hahnville moved all the way to the Griffin 5, but Dutchtown’s defense denied a fourth-and-1 run attempt by Blue to take over on downs. The Griffins then ran the clock out to force overtime.