Sam Houston's Kyle Bartley carries past Carencro's Bailey Despanie during their district game at Ssam Houston High School in Moss Bluff, La., Friday, Sept.20, 2019. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Wayne Hooper Memorial Stadium will be packed tonight when Sam Houston hosts Barbe in a battle for control of District 3-5A.

The teams share the top spot in the district with No. 5 Acadiana (5-0, 2-0), which will host Comeaux tonight.

The game will be an aerial battle pitting the top two big-schools quarterbacks in Southwest Louisiana in Barbe's (4-1, 2-0) Davis Meche and Sam Houston's (4-1, 2-0) Kyle Bartley.

"We are very similar on everything that we do," Barbe head coach Mike Cutrera said. "The kids picked up on things very well this week.

"Hopefully we can go out and execute well. We know our kids are going to be fired up to go and we know their kids are going to be fired up. One of our goals is to win a district championship and it will put us in that position. We are just looking to improve every week."

Bartley, a three-year starter who is approaching 5,000 career passing yards, has thrown for 1,481 yards and 18 touchdowns with three interceptions this season.

"He is a good athlete and can run and throw," Cutrera said. "He does a good job of running that offense and looks very good."

Meche started at safety last year but quickly adapted to his new role with a 72 percent completion percentage (84-117-2, 1,311 yards, 15 TDs).

"You go from safety to quarterback, that just tells you right off the bat how tough Meche is," Sam Houston head coach Chad Paulk said. "Meche is a competitor and a winner.

"Bartley is the same type of guy. He is a competitor, a winner and loves what he is doing. That is two quarterbacks going head to head on a Friday night, and that is what high school football is all about."

The two quarterbacks have four of the top six Southwest Louisiana big school receivers to throw to in Barbe's Chandler Ware and Devin Bates and Sam Houston's Tavyen Grice and Luke Yuhasz.

Bates is the Bucs' big-play threat with 19 catches for 382 yards and five touchdowns while Ware is the area's top receiver with 43 catches for 682 yards and seven touchdowns. Grice and Yuhasz have combined for 1,076 yards and 15 receiving touchdowns.

"Devin Bates is the fastest and most explosive player on their team," Paulk said. "He presents issues with anybody because of his speed and athletic ability.

"And they have Ware. He is the kind of the leader of their offense. They are dangerous and it is the best offensive line we have faced all year long."

Barbe has a strong ground game that averages 173 yards a game behind tailback Dylan Lewis (58 carries, 434 yds., 5 TDs).

"I think they run the ball very effectively," Paulk said. "It sets up their pass. We have to try to stop the run early on and put some pressure on Meche and force him to think fast. That will help a lot of the pass game with all the play-action they do."


After last week's game was canceled because of severe weather, LaGrange (1-3) will get its chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2017. The Gators will host North Vermilion (3-2) in its District 4-4A opener.

In District 3-4A, the district front-runner will be decided in a battle of unbeatens in No. 3 Leesville (5-0) and Tioga (5-0). Leesville has won 20 consecutive regular-season games and three consecutive district championships.

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