Expect a battle as Barbe, West Monroe square off Friday night

By By Rhett Manuel / American Press

Last season’s Class 5A state semifinal between West Monroe and Barbe brought us the “Miracle on McNeese Street.”

The Nov. 30, 2012, game, when Barbe scored 21 points in the final 2:11 to win 49-48, is now a famous part of Bucs football

lore. There’s little doubt that it’s still a fresh wound for the Rebels.

With that in mind, Barbe prepared as it normally does for today’s 7 p.m. rematch at Bucs Stadium.

“We’re just trying to get better each

and every week and this week is a huge challenge for us,” Barbe head

coach Mike Cutrera

said. “Playing West Monroe, with the success they’ve had (and) the

state championships that they’ve won, we know the road

to the state championship still runs through (them). It’s going to

be a big challenge for us. But I think our kids are going

to compete and play.”

The Bucs (2-0) are again led by their high-powered offense. Senior quarterback Kennon Fontenot has thrown for 483 yards and

eight touchdowns in wins over Washington-Marion and LaGrange, finding LSU recruit Trey Quinn in the end zone three times.

Quinn has also added a kickoff return touchdown, a 92-yard dash in Week 1.

“We’re going to continue to play the way we play and see where the cards fall,” Cutrera said. “We like that up-tempo offense.

It’s working for us so we’ll continue to do it.”

Offense wasn’t the issue for Barbe last season. An inexperienced defense allowed lots of points.

However, with more experience under their belts, the Bucs have given up 30 points through the first two weeks.

They’ll need that experience against West Monroe, which ran for 546 yards in last season’s semifinal while attempting one

pass.

“That’s the big thing, we have to stop the run,” Cutrera said. “It’s going to be a challenge for our defense. But with the

experience we have and those guys facing the veer last year, I think we’ll be OK.

“We’re expecting big things from our defense.”

Barbe is promised to get a big dose of West Monroe’s veer offense, but also expects a few wrinkles this time around.

“They’re running some different formations on offense,” Cutrera said. “(But) it’s same old West Monroe. The names change but

the way they play is still the same.”

One truth remains: West Monroe had Barbe’s number before last season’s, eliminating the Bucs seven times in the playoffs since

1997.

With that, Barbe still has the magic of last season on its side.

“They are a great football team and they will be ready for us,” Fontenot said. “They will remember last year, but so do we.

“These are the types of games you love.”

Don’t expect a miracle. Rather, expect a battle.