Hahnville and Thibodaux are both 5-0 on the season, including 2-0 in District 7-5A play and Nick Saltaformaggio has an idea why Chris Dugas’ squad is so good.
“They are 5-0 for a reason. They are not 5-0 because they threw magic dust on themselves. They are 5-0 because they are good football players. Coach Dugas does a great job coaching them and we will have our hands full,” the Hahnville coach said.
When the teams meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Thibodaux, it will be a contest of teams going through a similar season.
“We are mirror images of each other more than just records,” Saltaformaggio said. “They are coming off a down year. We are coming off what most would consider a down year for us. Both have seemed to right the ship.”
There is a difference, however.
“They are different in that they are a very explosive offensive football team. We’re more of a defensive football team,” said Saltaformaggio.
Thibodaux showed its explosiveness a week ago in a 35-28 win over Terrebonne. Thibodaux scored five touchdowns, with four of them coming through the air.
“They probably will throw the ball 72-75 percent of their offensive snaps. We have to hold up again on the back end,” said Saltaformaggio.
“He’s very, very good,” Saltaformaggio said of Alleman. “What he does that we haven’t seen yet is he doesn’t hold the ball a long time. He goes up, he gets the cover recognition, gets his pre-snap read, he gets the snap and he gets it out of his hands.”
It doesn’t hurt that he has a number of receivers to throw to.
“He has three really, really good receivers. Kyren Lacy, Darwin Davis and Maurquel Price are as good as it gets. We’ve played teams that have had one or two receivers,” said Saltaformaggio.
“They do a very, very good job of moving those guys around,” the Hahnville coach continued. “Sometimes Lacy will play on the single receiver side, sometimes he will play tight end. Davis and Price, one will line up in a slot, one will line up wide to the three-man side. They have done an excellent job of finding spacing and creating space in their pass lanes.”
Thibodaux also can march a number of running backs at an opponent with the likes of Rimond Thompson, Ferronte Miller and Joshua Holden. Thompson scored the only non-passing touchdown a week ago against Terrebonne.
“It’s kind of similar to what we’ve seen throughout the year. East St. John gave us a bunch of different running backs, Terrebonne did the same thing,” Saltaformaggio pointed out.
Thibodaux is multiple up front on defense.
“They will give you some odd look and they will give you a 3-3 Stack look. They will give you some 4-2-5 look. Where they are really, really good is at linebacker. The linebacker play is exceptional,” Saltaformaggio said.
Those linebackers include Hunter Trosclair, Khalil Brisco.
Thibodaux, Saltaformaggio said, also is strong in another area.
“They are really good on special teams. Their kicking game is exceptional. It’s the best kicking game we have played since Mandeville,” the Hahnville coach said.
If Hahnville is the Tiger team to win on Friday, it will be because of two factors, according to Saltaformaggio.
“Our back end has to play exceptionally well. We have to find a way to get good quarterback play. We don’t great quarterback play. I don’t need (Newman’s) Arch Manning. The kid at East St. John (Sean Shelby) is exceptionally good. I don’t need that. I just need consistent, don’t turn the ball over and make the right read. Give me the 85-100 yards passing and a touchdown. That’s what we need. If we can get that, along with strong secondary play, we will be 6-0.”