Normally, when a team has to replace a quarterback early in the season who put up gaudy numbers the year before, there is an adjustment time for the newcomer.
Judging by the scores in CCHS’ games since he’s started in replace of former starter Josh Singleton, much of that adjustment period for new starter Luke Landry, came in a 44-2 defeat to White Castle.
And although the Eagles did not put up points on offense, Landry had no problem moving the CCHS offense down the field in that matchup. It was simply a matter of the offense’s inability to finish drives.
In the two games that followed, a 41-8 victory against Berwick and a 46-34 victory against Northlake Christian, it’s safe to say that Landry’s troubles finishing have been greatly reduced.
CCHS coach David Fuhrer switched Landry from receiver to quarterback and Singleton to receiver from his traditional spot at quarterback because he wanted to give his squad more weapons to work with on offense.
While Fuhrer said during the preseason that it was possible this move could be made at times, when he was asked Wednesday if he thought he would see it this much, he thought a few seconds before responding: “I knew there could be the possibility, and there’s still the possibility of in places we could make the switch and put Josh in there (at quarterback) and just give somebody different looks. It’s just kind of evolving, and I think we’ll just see how it plays out in the next few weeks.”
So far, it’s working well, though, as Landry has proved to be a threat both running and passing.
The same goes for an additional threat at wide receiver. Singleton must now be accounted for by defenses as both a receiver and when he is brought in motion as a runner.
So far this season (including limited action in a backup role against Loreauville), Landry has completed 58 of 90 passes for 524 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
On the ground, he has rushed 51 times for 246 yards and two more touchdowns.
“We always battled through practice and battled and battled, and once he got his time to shine, he did it and there was nothing wrong with it,” Singleton said of Landry, his former backup quarterback.
Landry said he and Singleton, who threw for nearly 2,600 yards and 30 touchdowns and just five interceptions in 2011, are friends both on the gridiron and away from it.
The current Eagles’ signal caller said whatever moves are made are all about the team.
“Whatever’s best for the team, that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
Joining the Eagles’ backfield this year and making the most of his final season is senior Josh Protti. Protti, one of the smaller players on the CCHS roster. Protti, relegated to a backup role in years’ past at running back behind former CCHS standout Lloyd Grogan, has come on strong for the Eagles recently. He recorded nearly back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances, including a 16-carry, 107-yard outing against Berwick in which he scored twice.
On the season, Protti has rushed 51 times for 264 yards and three touchdowns.
“They look up to me because I have to lead the team,” he said. “Last year they had Grogan. That’s a big spot to fill. I’m not that good but I know if I use my heart and hard work ... it will get me better.”
Protti credited his offensive line for helping open holes for him to run.
Fortunately for the Eagles, one of those linemen, Zach Aucoin, did not have to miss last week’s action.
While Aucoin was ejected during the Eagles’ Week 3 matchup against Berwick for unsportsmanlike conduct, Fuhrer said when the Eagles sent the game film to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association to look at it, and Fuhrer said it was determined that Aucoin should not have been ejected
A phone call to the LHSAA seeking comment was not returned Tuesday.
The coming together of key components of the Eagles’ squad could not have come at a better time as the Eagles will need solid production when they contend with Ascension Catholic in Donaldsonville Thursday.
While the Eagles handily beat Ascension Catholic last season, the Bulldogs have a new coach and a new look this year.
Doug Moreau, who has amassed approximately 175 wins in 33 years of coaching, has led the Bulldogs to a 3-1 record.
Fuhrer said Ascension has many different football players this year and has installed both a new offense and defense.
“They run the veer (offense), and they do it pretty good for just putting it in,” Fuhrer said. “I think they got some very good skill people and some pretty decent linemen.”
On defense, Fuhrer said that the Bulldogs are “disciplined.”
“I think they’re just a pretty solid football team, top to bottom,” Fuhrer said.
Especially on defense, Fuhrer said his squad must not allow Ascension Catholic’s running backs to reel off big plays.
“We just got to make sure we get everybody to the football and just kind of try and slow them down,” he said.
The game also is special for those CCHS football players from the Pierre Part area that know Ascension Catholic football players.
“A couple of guys from the Pierre Part area that come to school here know a lot of the guys on that team,” Fuhrer said. “They play summer league baseball together and things like that so they do know a lot of the guys.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday in Donaldsonville.
Information from The Baton Rouge Advocate was used in this article.