Hahnville relying on accurate Cannon

There was no argument as to which team fielded the best quarterback in District 6-5A last year. As for this year, he may come from the same team but won't be the same person.

Hahnville's Dawan Landry clearly set the pace in leading the Tigers to a perfect 10-0 record in the 2000 regular season. Capitalizing on Landry's versatility, Hahnville averaged nearly 37 points a game and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. Some of the country's top option-friendly programs took an immediate interest in Landry, and he ultimately committed to Georgia Tech.

Taking Landry's place at quarterback is Nicholas Cannon, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound passer who many 6-5A followers think was the next best QB in the district behind Landry. In order to take advantage of Cannon's athletic ability, Hahnville coach Lou Valdin played him at running back. But for 2001, it is Cannon's turn to take aim at matching Landry's perfect mark.

"He's got a better arm than Dawan," Valdin. "What he doesn't have yet is the leadership. He never had to be the leader before this year. It's something he'll have to develop as he goes along."

Valdin will obviously want to throw the ball more to take advantage of Cannon's strength, and Valdin has one of the state's better receivers to complement his quarterback's skills. Mark Young (5-10, 175) has developed a reputation as a sure-handed player who is hard to contain on one-on-one match-ups.

"I've coached Roydell Williams (Tulane)," noted Valdin, who was a former assistant at East St. John, "and I've coached Kerry Watkins (Georgia Tech). I think Mark is better than both of them. He's a tremendous talent who is just beginning to realize how good he can be if he works at his game.

"LSU is interested in both of them, and they are both taking a look at LSU," said Valdin. "I think if LSU offered Nick now, he might accept. The last time they had a guy named Cannon, he was pretty good!"

Beyond his two prized seniors, Valdin has some younger talent to turn to in 2001. If opposing defenses concentrate too much on Young, Cannon will also be able to look to junior wide receiver Pernell Nash. And on defense, LaRon Landry, the younger brother of Dawan, is expected to be an impact player at free safety.

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