It won’t be a surprise if tonight’s Class 5A quarterfinal game between the Parkway Panthers and Barbe Buccanners turns into a shootout.
Barbe is averaging 40.8 points per game. Parkway is averaging 39.5.
The No. 7 seed Panthers (11-1) and No. 2 Bucs (11-1) face off tonight at Preston Crownover Stad-ium.
Parkway is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1994 and has never reached the semifinals.
Barbe reached the quarterfinals last season before falling to eventual state champion West Monroe 21-12.
Both defenses will have their work cut out for them.
Barbe junior quarterback Kennon Fontenot and junior receiver Trey Quinn both led the state during the regular season.
Fontenot completed 168 of 248 passes for 31 touchdowns with just seven interceptions.
“He’s very quick and has got a very strong arm,” Parkway coach David Feaster said. “We need to put pressure on him. We need to be able to make him uncomfortable. Nobody has really been able to get to him this year. He’s been able to sit back in the pocket, either that or scramble and throw on the run. He’s very accurate.”
Quinn caught 74 passes for 1,445 yards and 15 touchdowns. Last week, he caught three touchdown passes in a 38-21 second-round win over Byrd.
The Bucs also have 6-foot-4, 225-pound tight end Desean Smith, an LSU commitment. Courtney Galentine, a running back and wide receiver, had 253 total yards in the Bucs’ final two regular season games.
Barbe has won seven straight since losing to St. Thomas More 42-35 in Week 5.
“We’re going to have to look for edges where we can find them, and do what we can to slow them down,” Feaster said. “You’re not going to be able to completely stop a team like that.”
While Barbe has had no problem scoring, the Bucs have also given up some points. They are allowing 23.5 points per game.
Five opponents scored 30 or more. The Bucs have had some scares, too. They defeated Evangel 48-47 in Week 3, Acadiana 31-28 in Week 6 and Carencro 41-37 in Week 7.
Feaster said that’s deceiving.
“They’ve played a tough schedule, and they play in a good district,” he said. “I think they’re about as good on defense as anybody we’ve played all year.”
Since the Carencro win, Barbe’s closest games have been their two playoff wins, including a 24-7 first-round win over Terrebonne.
Byrd is the only common opponent. The Panthers defeated the Yellow Jackets 44-14 in Week 7.
While the Panthers haven’t put up the kind of gaudy stats the Bucs have, they have some playmakers of their own.
Junior Brandon Harris has completed 136 of 270 passes for 2,283 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also has rushed 560 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Junior receiver Brodrick Jefferson has caught 54 passes for 1,008 yards and 11 TDs. Junior Corey Hamilton has 34 catches for 584 yards and eight TDs.
The defense is allowing just 13.8 points per game. Leaders include senior tackle Antonio McGhee, junior linebacker Tray Walker, junior linebacker Austin Averitt, senior linebacker Marcus Harper, junior safety Marquis King, senior cornerback Andre Henson, senior safety Holland Wolf and junior noseguard Alex Devine.
Parkway defeated Live Oak 36-13 in the first round of the playoffs and then rallied past Hahnville 31-28 in the second.
The 11 wins are a school record.
“We’re very excited to be in the quarterfinals, and we’re very excited to have 11 wins for the first time in school history,” Feaster said.