CROWLEY — After two weeks of football, Lewis Cook and the Notre Dame Pioneers find themselves in oddly familiar, yet unfamiliar territory.
They’re undefeated thus far — after wins over LaGrange and Breaux Bridge — and head into a critical contest against Teurlings on Friday night.
This is the way the Pios season began in 2013 and 2014: same opponents, same results, same quarterback under center in Brad Stoma.
Only this year, Stoma is gone after a stellar senior season and Cook is left without his three-year starter. Insert Joe Faulk, a senior running back-turned-quarterback who is very familiar with the Notre Dame system, but Cook says Faulk is green.
“For the last two years, Joe has carried the football,” Cook said. “That in itself will lead us to utilize him a little more in the running game. Right now, he just needs to get some snaps.”
In last week’s 20-0 win over Breaux Bridge, Faulk had just six pass attempts.
Cook said he would have liked to get him a few more attempts, but the flow of the game didn’t allow it. Cook said they’re going to have to air it out to see where he is.
“The ball was wet (against Breaux Bridge), and it was muggy out there,” Cook said. “We needed to throw it more. Joe doesn’t have that experience that Stoma had.
“For us to evaluate where we are in the quarterback position, we just need him to play.”
Cook said he will have some plays drawn up for sophomore Brian Thevis, and Thevis may see significant action at quarterback in some games. For the most part, this is Faulk’s team.
As far his progress, Cook said he knows it’s not finished. Faulk’s 21-yard run at the end of the Breaux Bridge game is a testament to his natural abilities, Cook said.
Still, Cook said he knows the offense is far from a complete product.
“We’re still struggling a little bit,” he said. “We don’t have a bunch of turnovers, but we’re having penalties. We are doing some good things, but we still have a way to go.
“I kept it as close to the vest as I could (against Breaux Bridge). Hopefully we have a couple games coming up where we can throw the football.
“You can see (Faulk’s) running ability, and he made a big run at the end, there. We’re going to keep featuring that and try to get him going in the passing game.”