Barbe's Bryce Jordan yells after taking second against Rummel in the Class 5A championship game in May. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, December 06, 2012 11:46 PM
High stakes are nothing new when Barbe and Archbishop Rummel cross paths Saturday night.
The teams squared off for the Class 5A state championship in baseball this spring, with the Bucs beating the Raiders 3-2 to claim the crown.
Seven members of the Bucs football team were also on the baseball team, including quarterback Kennon Fontenot and receivers Trey Quinn and Gunner Leger, who was Barbe’s starting pitcher in the baseball title game. Fontenot and linebacker Beau Jordan scored the winning runs in the game, on a single by Jordan’s brother Bryce.
The teams also met at the baseball state tournament in 2009 with Barbe winning 6-3 in extra innings when Kevin Berard hit a three-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning in the quarterfinal round game in Denham Springs.
Barbe also beat Rummel 7-4 in the 2006 semifinals en route to a state championship.
Drama developed when the teams played a home-and-home series in football in 2009 and 2010, with the road team winning each time.
Rummel won the 2009 game as part of its undefeated regular season, beating the Bucs 24-21 in Lake Charles. The Raiders made their only other championship game appearance that season, losing 30-0 to West Monroe final.
Against Barbe, the Raiders won on a 20-yard field goal by Marc Raziano as time expired to improve to 8-0. The kick capped an 85-yard drive that saw Rummel use up the final 5:03 of the game. Rummel scored the final 10 points of the game, all in the fourth quarter. J.J. Brown scored on a 32-yard run early in the final quarter to pull the Raiders even at 21.
Barbe had taken a 21-14 lead behind three touchdown passes by Berard, who tossed a 49-yard scoring pass to Jareth Rougeau and had a pair of touchdown passes, of 12 and 22 yards, to Michael Guillory.
Rummel scored in the first half on a 2-yard run by Damian Williams and a 14-yard pass from Luke Cartozzo to Russell Zimmerman. Williams, then a freshman and now the Raiders’ starting quarterback, ran for 5 yards and threw for 38 in the game. Terrance Jones, now a star linebacker for the Raiders, ran for 19 yards.
Barbe avenged the loss the following season, beating Rummel 32-28 at Tad Gormley Stadium. Quarterback Jared Foster drove the Bucs 73 yards in seven plays on the winning drive and connected with Tre Goodly on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 1:23 left to give the Bucs the lead.
Rummel drove to the Barbe 12-yard line in the final minute, but Bucs defense back Gaven Weber broke up a pass in the end zone to preserve the win.
Foster finished the game with 344 passing yards and two touchdowns. Bucs tight end Desean Smith caught 11 passes for 118 yards. Rummel quarterback Damian Williams rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Saturday’s game will be the first time the schools will face each other in the postseason in football. Sulphur, the last area 5A team to reach the championship game, beat Rummel 7-0 in the quarterfinal round in 2006 before losing to Acadiana in the championship game.
• When: 8 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
• Radio: KLCL (1470-AM)
• Series: 1-1.
• Last Meeting: Barbe 32, Rummel 28, 2010.
• Head Coaches: Mike Cutrera, Barbe, second season; Jay Roth, Rummel, 18th season.
• State Titles: None.
• Last Time In State Final: Barbe lost to East St. John, 15-8, in 1980; Rummel lost to West Monroe, 30-0, in 2009.
• Road To Dome: Barbe beat Terrebonne 24-7, C.E. Byrd 38-21, Parkway 45-35, West Monroe, 49-48. Rummel beat Lafayette, 49-7, Dutchtown, 21-10, Ouachita, 23-19, Mandeville, 17-14.
• When Rummel Has The Ball: Stop if you have heard this before, Barbe’s young defense will have to try and stop the Raiders power-running game. It is a ball-control attack that will try to eat up the clock and wear down the Barbe defensive, which has given up huge chunks of yardage this year. The Bucs gave up 546 yards all on the ground to West Monroe in the semifinals, 295 going to quarterback Michael Mims. The Bucs did force a pair of turnovers which led to 14 points and helped fuel the winning comeback.
• Key Players For Rummel: Senior quarterback Damian Williams will lead the Raiders attack. He has accounted for 2,529 yards of total offense and 26 touchdowns. Junior tailback Keith Fulton has rushed for 1,102 yards and scored 20 TDs.
• Keys for Rummel: Rummel is seeking the first state championship in the 49-year history of its program and to do so must control the ball offensively and consume clock time with its rushing attack. Senior quarterback Damian Williams and junior tailback Keith Fulton are key figures in those plans. Williams, as he has all season, is the Raiders’ physical and spiritual leader and is making his second state championship game start. But it is the Rebels secondary of corners Henré Toliver, Dontrell Bennett and Austin Vance and safeties Dwayne Eugene and Damarius Crawford that will be tested most by Barbe’s pass-crazy offense.
• When Barbe Has The Ball: They will have to score as many points as they can and stretch the field against a Raider defense that has not seen this type of speed all season. The Bucs will try to get out to a lead early in hopes of taking Rummel’s offense out of its game plan, which is to pound the football. Barbe must also be able to run the football enough to control the clock at least enough to help out its young defense and give it some rest. That means the Bucs, led by junior quarterback Kennon Fontenot, can’t turn the ball over. It has gotten them in trouble in games.
• Key Players For Barbe: Fontenot is the main man. He has thrown for 4,119 yards and 45 touchdowns while being intercepted 10 times. He has also rushed for 566 yards and eight more scores. But he seems at his best when he improvises. Chased out of the pocket against West Monroe, Fontenot ran himself to freedom and was able to throw for 423 yards and six TDs while leading an amazing comeback that saw Barbe score three times in the final 2:11 for the 49-48 win. His favorite targets of are receiver Trey Quinn with 111 catches for 2,094 yards and 26 touchdowns and tight end Desean Smith (42, 730, 9). Courtney Galentine leads the run attack with 1,058 yards and 16 touchdowns but is also a weapon as a pass catcher with 56 grabs for 719 yards and another four scores.