If anyone had mentioned a Destrehan-Barbe postseason matchup at the beginning of the season, many would likely have figured the encounter well after the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Yet, that’s where the teams find themselves when the Wildcats host the Buccaneers on Friday night.
Destrehan, the No. 8 seed, is coming off a 33-14 triumph over Alexandria, while Barbe, the No. 9 seed, dominated Parkway 52-6.
The Wildcats enter the game at 9-2 while the Buccaneers are 10-1. Barbe’s only loss was a 28-14 Week 5 loss to Acadiana.
In Barbe’s win over Dana Fontenot rushed for 112 yards and Jaivan Samuel 102. Each runner has topped 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
The duo runs behind a huge offensive line. The biggest of the bunch are Derek Fontenot and Sean White, both at 295 pounds.
“They are big across front and that allows them to get a lot of push. They do a good job of running the ball and I think that will be the key for us to stop,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said.
Barbe’s quarterback is Luke Richard.
Richard’s favorite target is Jaylon Smith.
“When they do decide to throw it, the guy they like to throw to is Jaylon Smith. He’s a possession-type receiver that makes a lot of plays,” said Robicheaux.
Other receivers for Barbe include Devon Pauley and 6-foot-4, 200-pound Keandre Turner.
The Buccaneers employ an odd-man front on defense.
“It’s more like a 3-3 but they play the guys inside more than a traditional five techniques that most 3-3 Stack guys play. It’s something different where they play the guys inside and they play the linebackers outside so it’s a different mentality. They ward off the middle. You will not be able to run the football right there in the middle,” Robicheaux explained.
A top defender for Barbe is 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive end C.J. Semien
“He does a great job of getting to the ball and rushing the passer,” said Robicheaux.
Plugging the middle is 6-foot-3, 290-pound Chandler Crawford.
Another defensive lineman is 5-foot-9, 215-pound Lamarcus Benton.
“He’s not as big as the others but he’s real active,” Robicheaux said of Benton.
Linebackers include Brayden Adams and Carson Stephens.
Among those manning the secondary are Devin Bates and Jarden James.
Robicheaux said he expects a tough, hard-fought game Friday night.
“They are physical. They will hit you. They fly to the football. It’s a typical Barbe team,” said Robicheaux. “It will be a physical game and we just have to step up and hopefully match their physical-ness and end up playing well Friday night.”