Just as Ruston’s main offensive weapons were getting healthy, Hahnville’s rushing attack suffered a serious blow, leading to a quick playoff exit for the Tigers as they were eliminated from the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs with a 42-17 loss Friday night at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium on the Grambling State campus.
Highly touted Bearcats running back Ke’Travion “Bull” Hargrove, who missed much of the season with injuries, rushed for 206 yards and two touchdowns to lead Ruston past the Tigers.
Meanwhile, Hahnville was without its leading rusher, Trey LaBranch, who suffered a football injury in the Tigers’ loss last week to rival Destrehan.
Hahnville, which entered the playoffs as the No. 20 seed, ended its season at 5-4.
Ruston, the No. 13 seed, improved to 6-2 and will take on No. 4 Ponchatoula, a 24-14 winner over St. Amant, the No. 29 seed.
The Hahnville defense was unable to stop Hargrove and company.
Along with Hargrove’s effort, sophomore quarterback Jaden Osborne produced more than 200 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, while Deontre Griffin had five catches for 86 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown catch.
Despite that, Hahnville managed to lead twice early in the game.
The Tigers produced the first points of the game on a Tate White field goal for a 3-0 lead.
After a Hargrove rushing touchdown, the Tigers regained the lead at 10-7 on a touchdown run by Cole Villasenor.
Touchdowns on runs by Hargrove and Osborne, along with a 27-yard pass from the Bearcats quarterback to Griffin extended Ruston’s lead to 28-10.
Hahnville responded with a touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Naquin to Conner Acosta to make it 28-17 at halftime, but the Tigers would not score again during the remainder of the game.