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Weekend observations: Barbe vs. Evangel

9/17/2012

Barbe's 48-47 win against Evangel Christian on Friday night will probably be a contender for prep game of the year when it's all said and done. Barbe jumped out to a 28-7 lead before allowing the Eagles back into the game. A go-ahead touchdown with 25 seconds left to make the score 48-41 in Barbe's favor finally seemed like the clincher.

But Evangel raced back with an 80-yard hail mary score and seemed poised to send the game to overtime. Instead, the Eagles opted for a two-point conversion and the win. Evangel quarterback Dakota Duron had an open man for the game-winning points, but he overthrew him while scrambling away from the Bucs defense.

Here are some extra thoughts from the night:

1. Barbe 2014 wide receiver Trey Quinn won't stay a secret for long: I'll have more to say about Quinn in our weekly Report from the Road feature, but it's hard to come away from this game with any other impression.

Quinn was everything for Barbe, almost literally. He caught 10 balls for 333 yards and five touchdowns, including the game-winner. He rushed five times for 30 yards and added another 50 or so as a kick returner. He showed every trait you'd want to see from sure hands to quick footwork to blazing speed, and when he missed several series in the second half with leg cramps, the Barbe offense went into a funk.

Nearby programs LSU and Texas A&M are the only schools to have offered him so far, but it's not going to stay that way. The junior said he's already getting mail from every corner of the country. With their early bead on him and their home state status, LSU seems to have an early advantage it might want to capitalize on.

2. How does LSU plan to use DeSean Smith? It was hard to fairly judge how Smith, a Tiger commit for 2013 at tight end, played on Friday night, given that he hobbled his ankle in the first half and was limited the rest of the night. He played the entire second half but was clearly bothered by the ankle.

But it was still interesting see how Barbe uses the 6-foot-4 pass-catcher. Smith lined up all over the field, from the traditional tight end spot to the slot, to the far wide part of the field traditionally reserved for receivers. He's not especially bulky at 225 pounds, and he probably won't be of much use as one of the monstrous blocking tight ends the Tigers love to use. But Les Miles' offense is a little on the traditional side for me to think they'll use a tight end in a bunch formation, or something to that effect.

A speedy, pass-catching tight end could be a fantastic mismatch if LSU continues to improve its passing offense. Smith could present problems like former Tiger Deangelo Peterson. Although this go-around maybe Smith will see some of the ball, since Peterson was woefully underused.

3. Evangel boasts plenty of talent of its own: The main impetus for the trip to Lake Charles, La., for the game was the duo of Smith and Quinn in Barbe's dynamic offense. But several Evangel playmakers impressed in their own right.

Senior linebacker and running back X'Zavier Preston did work for the Eagles' comeback effort. He pounded his way to about 70 rushing yards on the night, highlighted by two impressive short yardage touchdowns that saw him bowl over multiple tacklers. He also nabbed an interception while patrolling the middle of the Evangel defense. Preston recently committed to Oregon State after getting looks from Louisiana-Lafayette, Houston and Memphis.

Evangel junior wide receiver Jared Cornelius also might begin to draw some interest like his counterpart Quinn, if he keeps playing like he did against the Bucs. Cornelius did his best to keep up with Quinn's ridiculous night, as he finished with six receptions for about 270 yards and three touchdowns. The junior spent much of his night getting behind the Barbe secondary, and when he couldn't do that he'd shake free of his tackler after making the catch. Cornelius broke three different 80-yard scores. He's got no offers to this point, but I'd expect that to change quickly if he keeps producing.