Richard latest in line of Bucs’ dual-threat QBs

<p class="p1">In recent years, Barbe has relied heavily on dual-threat quarterbacks to run its spread offense.</p><p class="p5">Luke Richard took on the mantel last year, passing for 2,413 yards, rushing for 506, 38 total touchdowns and led the Bucs to the quarterfinals. And he is chomping at the bit to lead the Bucs to a third consecutive District 3-5A championship in his senior season.</p><p class="p5">“I am more than ready,” Richard said. “I am really excited this year.”</p><p class="p5">Richard is following in a long line of dual-threat quarterbacks including Kennon Fontenot, Jared Foster, Eric Cutrera and Eric Frey, something the Bucs can’t do without, head coach Mike Cutrera said.</p><p class="p5">“We have been blessed with some really good athletes at that position and Luke is one of them,” Cutrera said. “If we didn’t have those type of guys, we would definitely be doing something else on offense.</p><p class="p5">“Luke is a very good athlete. He gets better each year and that is why we are expecting big things from him this year as well.”</p><p class="p5">He needs 419 yards to become the fourth Bucs quarterback since 2003 to rush for more than 1,000 career yards.</p><p class="p5">Ever since he could pick up a football Richard knew he wanted to be a quarterback.</p><p class="p5">“I have always played this position,” Richard said. “I like being in control. I like to be able to control the game and the tempo. I like to help (my teammates) and let them know what to do.”</p><p class="p5">His first significant foray into the varsity world was against perennial Class 5A contender Acadiana in Week 4 of the 2015 season when starter Gavin Nettles went down with an injury in the first quarter. Richard completed 14 of 31 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and an interception.</p><p class="p5">He started the next two games, including a four-touchdown, 203-yard (13-16-0) game in a 53-7 win over Lafayette. He led Barbe to an 11-2 record in his first full season as the starter last year.</p><p class="p5">“The game has kind of slowed down for me now that I have more experience,” Richard said. “My sophomore year I got in the Acadiana game when Gavin got hurt and it was just a blur.</p><p class="p5">“Now it has slowed down and I am able to make better reads.”</p><p class="p5">Richard lost his top four targets from last year due to graduation but said he’s confident this year’s receiver corps will fill the void.</p><p class="p5">“They have some big shoes to fill, but I think they are going to be able to do their job just as good, if not better,” Richard said. “I have a lot of confidence in them and they work hard just like everybody else.</p><p class="p5">“I kind of feel like everyone is doubting us this year. We lost a lot, but I think that we are still going to be a solid team as always. We are going to come out on top.”</p><p class="p5">His ability to say calm under pressure will be key earlier in the season as the rest of the offense gains experience.</p><p class="p5">“He is cool under pressure. He is not a kid that will get rattled,” Cutrera said. “He is calm and he competes.</p><p class="p5">“We just want Luke to go in and manage the game, be that leader out there and keep everyone calm. Until those younger kids get experience, we are going to be leaning on him more.”</p>””<p>Barbe’s Luke Richard passes during their game against Ponchatoula Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Sulphur High School. </p><p>Buy this photo and more <a href="http://photos.americanpress.com/barbevsponchatoula" target="_blank">HERE</a></p>RickHickmanPhotographer
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