Last Modified: Thursday, October 24, 2013 8:00 PM
It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Barbe. Not with all its stars returning and a more experienced defense.
This was supposed to be the swan-song year for wide receiver Trey Quinn and quarterback Kennon Fontenot as they chase down individual records and the state title that eluded them last year.
Losing twice wasn’t expected and contending for the District 3-5A championship seemed a foregone conclusion after unprecedented success last year.
Yet, it hasn’t all gone according to plan. Acadiana and New Iberia have handed Barbe (5-2, 2-2) losses in the last three weeks — by a combined five points — and the Bucs find themselves ranked No. 9 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A poll this week after starting the season ranked No. 1.
Both Acadiana and New Iberia attacked the Bucs on the ground, running straight at them.
That trend figures to continue this week as Barbe heads back to the Lafayette area for the third time in four weeks to play another run-heavy team, Comeaux (5-2, 3-1), in an attempt to get back to its winning ways.
For the Bucs, that started on the practice field with a rededication to work ethic.
“We just talked about coming out this week and practicing with a sense of intensity. Things picked up this week,” Barbe head coach Mike Cutrera said.
Offense has never been a problem for the Bucs under Cutrera. Even last week, when the Bucs seemed a bit off, they still managed 348 total yards, 18 first downs and 28 points.
However, the Yellow Jackets did shut down Quinn, limiting him to a season-low 40 receiving yards on seven catches. He managed to snag a touchdown.
“We’ve got to come out and execute better,” Cutrera said. “New Iberia is a good football team and this week we have to make sure we’re playing at the top of our game.”
But, like last season, the run has given the Bucs defense some issues. They’ve given up 331 yards rushing to Acadiana and 328 yards to New Iberia, with neither team straying far from power football.
“It comes down to tackling. We have to make sure we’re tackling better and playing with intensity,” Cutrera said.
With the Bucs looking to rebound from their toughest stretch in Cutrera’s tenure, the coach keeps one thing: optimism.
“I like the way we’re playing,” he said. “This is a tough district we play in. You’ve got to bring your best every week.”