Andrew Robison did not disappoint.
After spending the first nine weeks of the regular season ruled ineligible by the LHSAA, Hahnville’s embattled senior quarterback made quite a statement on the field in leading the Tigers to a 48-0 District 7-5A victory against H.L. Bourgeois on Friday night in Houma.
Finally ruled eligible by an independent arbiter on Oct. 30, three days before his first game as a Tiger, Robison passed for 156 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 13 of 19 passes without being intercepted in only three periods of play.
Robison’s touchdowns covered 10 and 28 yards to wide receivers Jonathon Hill and Corey Lorio. A third scoring pass of 48 yards to receiver Jha’Quan Jackson that would have pushed the 6-foot, 190-pound Robison over 200 yards passing was negated by an offside penalty.
Hahnville (5-5, 3-3 in 7-5A) and Robison now kick off a bid in the Class 5A state playoffs as a No. 22 seed that must travel to No. 11 Walker for a 7 p.m. Friday pairing.
“Obviously, I’d like for us to win for a lot of reasons,’’ Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio said. “But I’d really like for us to win so Andrew can play another football game. I’ve never seen a kid who loves to play football the way he does.’’
The Hahnville-Walker winner plays the winner between No. 6 Zachary and No. 27 Sulphur. Zachary is the reigning Class 5A state champion after defeating Hahnville 34-14 in last year’s final.
The Tiger must win at least one more time coupled with a Zachary victory to earn a home game in next week’s regional round of the playoffs and afford Hahnville fans an opportunity to see what they’ve been missing.
“It was bittersweet seeing him play,’’ Saltaformaggio said. “Watching him play, wondering what could have been if he had played all season. I can tell you we wouldn’t be a No. 22 seed. Getting him back, we’ve got a chance to win.’’
Armed with only two days of repetitions with the No. 1 offense, Robison lived up to the hype that was generated by his junior season at Vandebilt Catholic when he passed for 2,699 yards and 34 touchdowns.
“It’s crazy when you think about the fact he hadn’t played a football game in over a year,’’ Saltaformaggio said. “I keep thinking about where we would have been if all of these shenanigans had not taken place.’’
Robison was ruled ineligible at Hahnville by the LHSAA for recruiting violations on Aug. 23. The LHSAA executive committee subsequently upheld Executive Director Eddie Bonine’s decision in an emergency appeal hearing in September.
Those rulings were followed by a Robison family victory in court restraining the LHSAA from enforcing its ruling. Hahnville chose not to risk playing Robison for fear of LHSAA reprisals setting the stage for the dramatic arbitration ruling.
“He makes me be a little more aggressive,’’ Saltformaggio said, pointing to the 30-yard scoring pass to Lorio called on fourth-and-16. “I’m a defensive guy and it changes the way I call defenses. We’re trying to be more aggressive to get the ball back for him. So I’m way more aggressive because I have a quarterback who can light up the scoreboard.’’
Catholic League rematch
St. Augustine senior Trevon Woodson is expected to start at quarterback in the Purple Knights’ rematch against Holy Cross in the first round of the Division I state playoffs, although Purple Knights coach Nathaniel Jones is noncommittal.
The Purple Knights turned to sophomore Kendell Sampson Jr. in relief of Woodson in Saturday’s 38-14 District 9-5A loss to Rummel. Sampson completed 6 of 10 passes for 97 yards and one touchdown while being intercepted once after Woodson had gone 4 for 9 for 52 yards with one interception and no touchdown.
“We were just looking to get a spark off of the bench,’’ Jones said of Sampson’s insertion. “We know who our quarterback is.’’
The 6-1, 180-pound Woodson has accounted for 2,081 yards and 17 touchdowns with his passing (119 of 177, 1,735 yards, 14 TDs, four interceptions) and running (93 carries, 346 yards, three TDs) in his first season at St. Aug following a transfer from Georgia. Sampson has completed 21 of 39 passes for 316 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions.
Seventh-seeded Holy Cross (7-3, 3-3 in District 9-5A) defeated No. 11 St. Augustine (5-5, 1-5) 24-20 in a Week 9 regular season meeting at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Woodson accounted for 265 yards and two touchdowns in the game, but lost two fumbles and was intercepted once in the second half while Holy Cross scored three second-half touchdowns to reverse a 14-3 halftime deficit.
“I don’t care how this one plays, I just want it to end with us getting a win,’’ Jones said. “It’s always hard to beat a team twice. We were ahead in the second half. We turned the ball over to them and to me that played as much a part in who won as anything.’’
Finally, a decision
De La Salle will host Vandebilt Catholic in a Division II first-round playoff game at 7 p.m. Friday at Joe Brown Stadium following intervention by the LHSAA on Tuesday.
As the host team, fifth-seeded De La Salle proposed playing the game Thursday night at Pan American, its home stadium, or Saturday at Pan Am because the facility already was booked for Friday by Warren Easton for a Class 4A first-round game against Rayne.
Vandebilt Catholic, a No. 12 seed, refused to play Thursday and proposed playing the game at Joe Brown on Friday, DLS coach Ryan Manale said. When both sides could not agree the decision then was turned over to the LHSAA per association rules.
Chalmette is doing some high flying after earning a school-record fourth consecutive state playoff appearance under coach Jason Tucker. But the Owls still have work to do to punctuate the record.
Chalmette (6-4, 5-2 in District 8-5A) is a No. 26 seed playing at No. 7 Terrebonne (9-1, 5-1 in 7-5A) Friday night.
The Owls are seeking the program’s first playoff victory in football since 2004 when the then Saltaformaggio-coached team defeated Grant 50-6 in a Class 3A playoff game played at Bobby Nuss Stadium.
Chalmette has posted four consecutive winning seasons (7-4, 7-4, 7-4, 6-4), the second longest streak in school history behind five Nuss-coached teams from 1970-74 (6-4, 5-4-1, 5-4-1, 6-3, 5-3-2). Chalmette began playing football in 1951, according to school records.
By the numbers
18 — Undefeated teams that kick off the state playoffs in the nine classifications and divisions. 5 – New Orleans area teams that finished the regular season 10-0. They are John Curtis, Karr, Lakeshore, Country Day and Hannan. 16 – Teams with 10-0 records. In addition to the five New Orleans area teams, they are West Monroe, St. Martinville, Leesville, Northwood-Shreveport, University, Notre Dame, Lafayette Christian, Iota, Rosepine, Oak Grove and Haynesville. 2 – Teams that went 9-0. They are Dunham and Logansport.