Two of top Acadiana quarterbacks to be featured

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Notre Dame quarterback Brad Stoma
Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA -- Notre Dame quarterback Brad Stoma

Although formal invitations for a personal meeting have yet to be extended, Brad Stoma and Lane Landry feel somewhat acquainted with each other by their accomplishments.

The two quarterbacks — Stoma, a junior at Notre Dame-Crowley, and Landry, a senior from Breaux Bridge, — are generally recognized as perhaps two of the better passers in the Acadiana area.

Landry and Stoma will be on opposite sides Friday night as the two display their skills when Notre Dame (1-0) visits Breaux Bridge (0-1) in a nondistrict game Friday night.

Landry threw for 1,862 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. Stoma, as a sophomore in 2012, led Notre Dame to the Class 3A title game against Parkview Baptist.

For Landry, quarterbacking Breaux Bridge also means extending a family tradition that spans several decades.

Landry’s father, Thomas Landry, was a BBHS quarterback during the early 1980s, according to BBHS head coach Pal Broussard. Since then Landry’s older brothers, Brock and Hunter Landry have also been Breaux Bridge High quarterbacks.

Upholding the family tradition isn’t something especially intimidating. It’s more a matter of heritage, Landry said.

“Since my dad played quarterback and so did my brothers, I wanted to be a quarterback. Growing up it was expected that I was going to play quarterback for Breaux Bridge,” said Landry.

That tradition enhanced a competitive atmosphere that developed among the Landrys.

“It was always competition among us when I was growing up. You’d play against your brothers and try to beat them at anything,” Landry said.

That situation, however, also meant some added pressure for Landry in addition to some occasional postgame scrutiny.

“Usually after a game, even though I might throw for 500 yards and no matter how well I did, my dad or maybe my brothers will find the little things that I did wrong,” Landry said.

That includes improving on his performance against New Iberia, a 14-13 loss last week. Landry fumbled twice and was intercepted once.

Landry said his father has a special perspective. Thomas Landry watches his son perform from an elevated vantage point, a lift located at the back of the end zone.

Landry said one of his goals is to surpass Hunter Landry’s career passing record of more than 2,920 yards. “I’m real close to 2,000 yards right now, and I have about 800 to go,” said Landry.

Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook Jr. said Stoma’s performance as a sophomore was impressive.

“The way Brad handled the team last year really exceeded all my expectations,” Lewis said. “I felt he was going to be a good quarterback for us, but what I didn’t expect was the way he ran the team and managed the game so soon.

“It’s really just something that he has. I saw it last year in the semifinals at East Feliciana. We were on the road against a good team with a lot of great athletes, and a crowd that was definitely supporting their team. You look over there at Brad and he’s as calm as can be. Right away he is really settled in.”

Stoma said his transition from starting freshman quarterback to the Pioneers’ varsity was facilitated by some older players.

“They kind of took me under their wing, so going into a game I would always be prepared,” Stoma said. “They were like my older brothers. After spring football that year, they knew I was going to be a starting quarterback as a sophomore.”

The inherent situations that occur when playing quarterback are something Stoma said he enjoys.

“Quarterback is a position I always wanted to play. I always wanted to play the leadership role and the pressure is something that I like,” Stoma said.

Personal records are something that Stoma said has doesn’t track. The junior said the only thing he remembers is the three interceptions he threw. Coaches restricted the plays Stoma ran last year as a first-year starter. This time around, the junior has more options.

“Coach Cook is opening the playbook more for me. I have more leeway to do certain things, and I am definitely looking forward to that,” Stoma said.

Stoma’s first game at quarterback came last season, when he helped guide a comeback win over Breaux Bridge. Stoma said when he watched Landry play against him last season, he admired Landry’s throwing arm and leadership skills. Landry said he also caught a glimpse of Stoma.

“He’s pretty good. I think we have some of the same skill sets. As a sophomore I think he was really good,” Landry said.