No. 1 Buccaneers take on No. 4 Rams in one of state’s biggest games Friday night
SCOTT — Blayson Abshire and Jacob Broussard know this is possibly their last chance at stopping a Barbe High School offense that has been their nemesis the past two seasons.
And both Acadiana senior defensive players have seen enough of elusive Barbe quarterback Kennon Fontenot and shifty wide receiver Trey Quinn to know what to expect Friday night at Acadiana’s Bill Dotson Stadium when the teams meet in what is perhaps the state’s top Class 5A matchup.
So when it comes to dissecting what is necessary to stop Barbe’s offensive production, Abshire, a safety-wide receiver, speaks from experience.
“You have to stop the scramble (by Fontenot),” he said.
Top-ranked Barbe has two of the state’s top offensive weapons in Fontenot and Quinn, who committed to LSU in August.
Quinn, ranked among the nation’s top receivers by several recruiting websites, began the season with 4,649 receiving yards.
The duo scored 31 points in Acadiana’s three-point loss to the Bucs last year. Fontenot and Quinn also contributed heavily to the defeat of the No. 4 Rams to Barbe in 2011.
Fontenot, Abshire said, can throw, but he can also run effectively while moving away from an accelerating pass rush.
“Looking at them now compared to two years ago, (Fontenot and Quinn) are more connected this season,” Abshire said. “We are going to need a lot of defensive backs, because when you rush Fontenot, he can run around and that might allow the receivers to get open.”
Broussard, a defensive tackle, said the game is more than just a contest between two perennially top-ranked schools; it also could be a midseason showdown for the District 3-5A championship.
“It’s usually either us or (Barbe) for the district championship, and it is probably going to be that way this season,” Broussard said.
Both teams have shown the abilities to score this season. Barbe has scored no fewer than four touchdowns in any of its four wins this season. The Rams (3-1) are averaging more than 30 points. Even during a loss to Neville, Acadiana still scored 28.
While his defense keeps an eye on Fontenot and Quinn, Acadiana coach Ted Davidson said defeating Barbe may depend on the resilience of the Rams’ veer offense.
Davidson sees things a bit differently when asked which side of the ball might play a more important role.
“If you ask me, there is more pressure on our offense for this game. We want to play defense with the football. Rummel did that last year (against Barbe in the 5A title game),” Davidson said.
When Acadiana defeated Barbe in 2010, Davidson said Acadiana’s offense used 36 minutes of the game clock, said Davidson.
Abshire said that scenario might be possible again because of the depth in the Rams’ backfield.
“We have two good quarterbacks (D’Edward Cormier and Peyton Touchet) and a bunch of running backs this season,” Abshire said. “We have used as many as six running backs in games this season.”
Davidson said while Fontenot and Quinn might be the dominant pieces in the Barbe offensive puzzle, the Bucs have a little different look now when it comes to moving the ball.
“I think Barbe is running the ball more this year,” Davidson said. “They have been running a lot out of the pistol formation, so you usually have a back behind (Fontenot). But obviously Fontenot is the guy who makes them go. He is the trigger man and you have to bottle him up. Do that and you’ve got a shot.”
Davidson said Broussard and Abshire are correct in their assertions that the Barbe-Acadiana game usually will impact the 3-5A race in a major way.
“We’ve always played early in the district schedule, and you know the outcome of this game is always going to have some kind of bearing on the district,” Davidson said. “I think the game (Friday) night is getting more notice because of the high rankings by both teams.”
Defensively, Davidson said there is always pressure when Fontenot and Quinn are involved.
“Barbe’s offense does such a good job of scrambling and finding the open people. In high school you don’t see it that much.”
Like Abshire said, there’s no doubt about the importance of the game.
“It’s probably the biggest game that we have had since I’ve been here. And Barbe is probably the best team we are going to face this year,” Abshire said.