Two old buddies decided to get together to have some fun on the field and decided to bring their teams along. That’s why a River Parish team like Hahnville was taking a team from Mississippi in a spring game Thursday night in Boutte.
Nick Saltaformaggio and his Tigers got the best of Eric Collins and his d’Iberville Warriors in both a timed quarter of action and in situational play. Hahnville dominated time of possession in the timed quarter and outscored the Warriors six to one in various situational drills.
“He got the better of us last year and we were able to return the favor this year. It’s always good to whip your friend,” Saltaformaggio laughed.
The two have known each other since childhood.
“He was the best man at my wedding,” Saltaformaggio said of Collins. “We’ve know each other ever since we were seven, eight years old. I was the best man at his wedding.”
They also coached together for a number of years.
“We coached at Archbishop Hannan a bunch of years and then at Chalmette High a bunch years. He left and I became the head coach at Chalmette,” said Saltaformaggio.
In the 15-minute quarter that featured running time except for the final two minutes, the Tigers hogged the football. Hahnville scored the only touchdown in the period on a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Naquin to tight end Noah Zeringue.
“I thought he threw the ball well,” Saltaformaggio said of Naquin. “We have a big tight end in Noah Zeringue, who is huge weapon for us. We really played well and really didn’t get Jha’quan (Jackson) involved a whole lot. He had a little of a hamstring issue and didn’t play a whole lot. That’s a good sign when you can score that many times and not get your best player involved.”
The touchdown was set up by an interception by Dynell Williams three plays into d’Iberville’s opening possession.
The timed quarter was not originally scheduled to feature running time but he format was changed because of the quality work the teams managed to produce during the earlier situational drills, according to Saltaformaggio.
“We had gotten about 75 plays in at that point and it’s the end of spring and we went running time and it went fast because we chewed up the clock,” Saltaformaggio said.
The Hahnville coach said he was pleased with his team both offensively and defensively.
Offensively, the Tigers showed a bevy of backs such as Daryle Evans, Brandon Camardelle and Jayce Myers may be able to effectively replace departed Anthony “Pooka” Williams, now with the Kansas Jayhawks
“We have different kind of backs. We have a Daryle, who is a power back. We have Brandon, who is a speed back, and we have Jayce Myers. People forget about him but he’s the shifty kid that makes people miss. While he doesn’t have great top-end speed, he has good enough speed to get a chunk of yards when he gets out where we need him to be,” said Saltaformaggio.
The coach said he was also happy about the play of the Hahnville offensive line.
“Our offensive line played really well. We are looking at two new starters. We started a ninth grader today, 'Big Reg' (Reggie Pierre, 6-foot-6, 340 pounds) so I’m really excited about what we can be,” Saltaformaggio said.
The defense also drew the praise of the coach.
“We are a lot better defensive football team than we’ve been around here in a long time. We spent a lot of time working just on individual techniques, individual reads. Our linebacker play, Coach Ervin Hodges has come in and really made our linebacker play substantially better,” Saltaformaggio said.