West Monroe vs. Barbe Preview

Cameron Robinson (pic by Chad Simmons)

West Monroe has won two of the last three state titles in Louisiana's largest class. The third-seeded Rebels have had Barbe's number in recent years, eliminating the Bucs from the playoffs the last three meetings. Can five-star OT Cameron Robinson - the nation's No. 2 overall junior prospect - and the Rebels beat Barbe again?

NO. 3 WEST MONROE (11-2) AT NO. 2 BARBE (12-1)

These large public schools are located on opposite ends of the state, but the Rebels and Buccaneers have nonetheless developed a healthy distaste for each other.

Much of that stems, of course, from their past three meetings: all won by West Monroe.

The Rebels ousted Barbe in last year's quarters, 21-12. Head coach Don Shows' squad went on to take state two weeks later vs. Carencro.

West Monroe edged Barbe 34-29 in a controversial second-rounder two years ago.

In that game, held at West Monroe, Barbe fired an eye-popping 60 passes. West Monroe was assessed nearly 30 penalties although the Rebs held on and ultimately completed the season as runner-up to Acadiana.

Barbe and Parkway went back-and-forth last week in a thrill-a-minute quarterfinal held in Bossier City.

Parkway intercepted three of junior quarterback Kennon Fontenot's first-half passes, according to Brent Shirley of the Shreveport Times.

The Panthers posted a 21-14 lead after one quarter but Barbe battled back to advance, 45-35. Fontenot hooked up with four-star wide receiver Trey Quinn, also a junior, for four touchdowns in the first-half alone.

Barbe senior RB Courtney Galentine rushed for just under 140 yards. Galentine will burn defenses that focus too much attention on Quinn and four-star tight end Desean Smith, an LSU commit and U.S. Army All-American.

West Monroe began the season without Cameron Robinson, who transferred from Ouachita Parish.

Robinson was subsequently ruled eligible and the 6-foot-6, 325-pounder helped the Rebels score 30-plus points in six of their last eight. West Monroe whipped another nemesis - the Airline Vikings - last Friday at home. The Rebels undoubtedly have extra inspiration after Shows suffered a concussion during a fourth-quarter collision.

The 72-year-old Shows, who many speculate will pass on the torch to a new coach following this year, returned to practice yesterday and is expected to lead his team vs. Barbe.

West Monroe built a commanding 26-7 first-half advantage against Airline, according to Russell Hedges of bossierpress.com.

The Rebs rolled up 420 yards of total offense behind the blocking of Robinson.

Senior option quarterback Michael Mims ran for 273 yards and three TDs in the Rebels' regular-season win over Madison Central. Mims completed 6-of-8 with two TD tosses in a week one win over Byrd.

Senior defensive back Xavier Woods returned two punts for 60 yards vs. Byrd. Woods can lay the lumber in the secondary, and he'll get plenty of chances to do that vs. the pass-happy Barbe offense.

Senior linebacker Dylan Burdeaux recorded 20 stops in one game this year. The future Southern Miss baseball player also came up big in the 2011 state finals.

West Monroe won state in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2011.

Desean Smith pictured below (photo by Steve Robertson)

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