Denham Springs — Hahnville capitalized on four turnovers by the Denham Springs offense and went on to steamroll the Yellow Jackets 28-0 on Friday night.
Senior running back Darryle Evans paced the Tiger attack with three touchdowns in the non-district season opener.
Evans pulled in an 8-yard pass from junior quarterback Drew Naquin early in the second quarter and later scored on runs of 6 and 28 yards to lead the visitors to the win.
Hahnville coach Dominic Saltaformaggio said the game was an auspicious start to the new season.
“I told the team we should never be 6-6,” he said after the win. “If we want to be mentioned in the same breath with Destrehan or Zachary or West Monroe, then we just have to play better than we did last year. I think we took a big step forward tonight.”
Hahnville kept the Yellow Jackets at bay with an efficient ball-control offense led by Naquin. The junior was 13-for-20 through the air with no interceptions and a touchdown. Evans finished with four catches for 60 yards.
The Yellow Jackets expected to turn things around after falling to Dutchtown 17-7 in last week’s jamboree action. But too many turnovers kept the hosts from getting into an offensive rhythm.
It was an interception by DSHS quarterback Luke Lunsford early in the second quarter that led to Hahnville’s first score of the night.
Denham Springs was set up inside Hahnville territory and ready to make a threat when Lunsford’s pass was picked off by senior defensive back Syre Lewis, who weaved his way back to Denham’s 14-yard line.
Two plays later, Naquin hit Evans for an 8-yard score and Hahnville had all the momentum it needed.
Lunsford never seemed to find his groove as the senior was 5-for-17 with an interception and 24 yards on the night. He threw for 2,700 yards a year ago though he struggled with a back injury during the spring and summer.
The Yellow Jacket rushing offense also failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark with 96 yards on 30 attempts.
Coach Bill Conides said his offense simply failed to execute, although he praised the performance of his defensive unit.
“I thought our defense played extremely well tonight, we just stayed on the field too long and gave them too many opportunities,” he said. “We were deficient on offense. We have to get it fixed and do a better job on offense.”
The Tigers expanded their lead on their first possession of the second half. Evans received a screen pass from Naquin and raced 50 yards through the Denham Springs defense. One play later, junior Trey Lebranch scored on a 38-yard pass from Naquin.
Denham Springs was selected as one of the top local teams going into the season after claiming a first-round playoff win last year.
The Yellow Jackets were looking to gain a measure of revenge after the Tigers booted them from the playoffs two years ago, but the hosts couldn’t overcome the turnovers.