Dutchtown, Hahnville meet again in bi-district playoff
GEISMAR - If you didn’t get a chance to cross the Mississippi River three weeks ago to Boutte to watch the District 6-5A matchup between Dutchtown and Hahnville, you will get another chance Friday night when the district foes square off again in a Class 5A bi-district playoff at Griffin Field.
Hahnville stormed out of the gate in Week 8 scoring 35 straight points before Dutchown answered with 35 unanswered of their own to send the game into overtime. Both teams scored in the first overtime before having the extra points blocked and in the second overtime, the Tigers went for the win after Dutchtown went ahead and pulled out the victory.
“We know each other,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “We are in the same district and we have played each other. From that aspect, we know what each other does.”
“They beat us. They ruined our perfect season. To get a chance to play them again is a stroke of luck.”
No. 13 seed Dutchtown (7-2, 3-2) is familiar with rematches after facing H.L. Bourgeois in the first round and Catholic in the regionals last season, both teams they played in the regular season.
“There is some differences between this year and last year,” Saia said. “I think we are pretty evenly matched. I think the team that comes out and executes and doesn’t make mistakes is going to be the team that wins.”
Dutchtown defeated H.L. Bourgeois in both contests last year after facing them at home in the regular season and away in the postseason. Similarities are more prevalent comparing Catholic, who beat the Griffins on the road in the regular season before the Griffins defeated them at home in the playoffs. However, the biggest difference will be the span of time between the matchups as Dutchtown squared off with Bourgeois in Week 2 and Catholic in Week 5. The Griffins’ defeat to Hahnville was just 21 days ago in Week 8, and Saia believes not much is different between the two squads from when they met previously.
“That wasn’t that long ago,” Saia said. “We had two punts blocked and we had two fumbles. We can’t give them the short porch first of all. We have to make them earn what they get and we have to play 48 minutes. We can’t walk out there and play 24. I think if we play our best game we have a good chance to win. I don’t think we played very well the last time. Even in the second half when we made a comeback, we didn’t do what needed to be done when it was time to win the game. We have to be sound in the kicking game and hold onto the football.”
No. 20 seed Hahnville (6-3, 3-2) is coming off a 42-28 victory over St. Amant in the regular season finale. Hahnville running back Alfred Blue rushed for 303 yards on 33 carries, scoring three touchdowns last week and now has 804 yards on 110 attempts this season with 10 touchdowns.
Blue rushed for 147 yards on 26 attempts against Dutchtown, scoring four touchdowns.
“He is good,” Saia said. “That is what we practice for. You put a plan together and you hope it is going to work. You don’t know if it will until you play the game. That is why you play the game. I think we have a good plan.”
Hahnville also has Jai Steib ,who rushed for 65 yards on 14 carries a week ago and has 558 yards on 140 attempts with 11 touchdowns this season. Quarterback Guiseppe Crovetto completed 5-of-14 passes for 63 yards and one touchdown last week to up his season totals to 619 yards and eight touchdowns on 46 of 115 attempts. His top target has been James Butler who has 24 receptions for 383 yards.
Ducthtown is coming off a 42-7 loss to district champion Destrehan, who enters the playoffs as the No. 2 seed. The Griffins defense surrendered 340 yards to total offense to the Wildcats balanced attack with 199 yards coming on the ground and 141 through the air. Dutchtown is surrendering 20.1 points per game in nine contests this season.
Eddie Lacy rushed for a career high six touchdowns while gaining 228 yards on 30 carries in the Griffins loss to Hahnville. Lacy rushed for 80 yards on 17 carries a week ago against Destrehan to up his season totals to 803 yards on 107 attempts with 14 touchdowns. Stablemate Kelvin York added 52 yards on 15 carries last week and now has 893 yards on the season to lead the Griffins on 134 attempts with eight touchdowns.
“We ran up against a very good football team in Destrehan,” Saia said. “They beat 24 teams in a row. Their front is the strength of their team and we struggled against them. There are a lot of teams that can make that same statement. They are the only team that we played this year that shut us down. We just have to execute and block. If you get Eddie and Kelvin in the secondary, they are going to make some big runs.”
Dutchtown quarterback Wesley Perkins has thrown for 535 yards this season completing 35-of-82 passes with five touchdowns.
The Griffins are also battling injuries, as hybrid back Effrem Reed went down last week and did not return. Linebacker Brandon Lucas also went out and did not return. Lacy struggled with early season injuries, while linebacker Randy Thackery, safety Eric Reid and tight end Colby Little have all missed time in recent weeks.
“Hopefully we will get them all back,” Saia said. “They are missing practice time but our trainer is working hard to get them ready for Friday night.”
This is Dutchtown’s third straight appearance in the playoffs in the school’s seven year history. Last season’s quarterfinal run was the Griffin’s longest stay.
“We want to ride it as long as we can,” Saia said. “You want to go as deep as possible and see where we end up.”