There’s nothing like a state semifinal to hatch a potential rivalry.
Instead of having to wait nearly a year to christen their new district together, No. 1 Parkview Baptist (11-0) and No. 5 Livonia (11-2) will give everyone a primer when they meet Friday at Parkview in a Class 3A state semifinal playoff game at 7 p.m.
“We’re creating an instant rivalry,” said Parkview football coach Kenny Guillot.
East Feliciana continues its astonishing run through the Class 3A playoffs when the No. 22 Tigers (8-3) — the lowest seeded team alive in any bracket — hosts No. 2 Notre Dame-Crowley (11-1) at East Feliciana Middle School in Clinton.
“The thing that’s positive with this group they didn’t care who we played or where we were seeded,” East Feliciana coach Cedric Anderson said. “They wanted to be in the playoffs with another opportunity to play and they’ve made good on that opportunity.”
LIVONIA AT PARKVIEW: The two teams arrived at this juncture in much different fashions.
Livonia won its sixth straight game and reached its first state semifinal when place-kicker Amadeo Carbjal booted the Wildcats to a 24-21 double overtime victory over Jennings with a 23-yard field goal.
“I’ve been very surprised at how well they’ve handled everything,” Livonia coach David Brewerton said. “It was total mayhem after the game Friday. We got back in the locker room, and immediately they wanted to know who won and when we crank it up. This has been one of my best senior classes as far as leadership’s concerned. They’ve kept everybody grounded and on task.”
Parkview reached its sixth straight semifinal in a more convincing manner, bolting to a 35-0 first-quarter advantage and stretching that to 49-6 at halftime en route to a 62-21 road demolition of No. 9 North DeSoto.
“The most important thing is we take every game and try and focus on that game,” Guillot said. “I have a great coaching staff, and our focus is on beating Livonia and then taking the next step. We have to win Friday for the opportunity to play another game.”
Wingback Hezekiah Randolph leads Parkview in rushing with 127 carries for 1,181 yards and 20 touchdowns, while fullback Connor Hodgeson, who had 152 yards and 3 TDs a week ago, is next with 106 attempts for 678 yards and eight TDs. Quarterback Brennan Bozeman has accounted for nearly 1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns, with 1,099 passing and 613 yards rushing.
Livonia counters with an offense averaging 35 points paced by running backs Russell Farris (123-1,048, 11 TDs) and Marique Beauvais (93-487, 10 TDs). Quarterback Ben Todd has passed for 1,336 yards and 13 TDs with tight end Brandon Armand (28-672, five TDs) serving as his chief target.
Farris, a linebacker, is also Wildcats leading tackler with 160 stops and 12 tackles for loss.
“I had the opportunity to coach at Redemptorist for seven years, and we had some unbelievable battles with those guys,” Brewerton said of Parkview. “They’re at a level where we’re trying to go. They had to start somewhere at some point, and so do we.”
NOTRE DAME AT EAST FELICIANA: East Feliciana hosts its first state semifinal riding the momentum of a furious fourth-quarter comeback. The Tigers erased a 16-0 deficit with 22 unanswered points in last week’s 22-16 victory over No. 14 Farmerville.
“It gave us something to build on, and hopefully we won’t be in that predicament this week,” Anderson said. “If we are down, we know they won’t quit on us or lay down. They’ll put up a fight and fight for 48 minutes.”
Notre Dame, which won the Class 3A title in 2009, is making its 11th semifinal trip in 13 years, defeated No. 26 Iowa 35-0 last week.
Running back Luke Broussard paces the Pioneers ground attack with 232 carries for 1,448 yards and 14 TDs, while quarterback Brad Stoma has thrown for 1,190 yards and eight TDs.
Kendell Beckwith is coming off arguably his most impressive performance of the season, accounting for all three of his team’s TDs against Farmerville, including a go-ahead 85-yard TD run with 2:11 left.
Corey Hawkins has passed for 1,403 yards and 14 touchdowns, and Beckwith has 1,124 yards and 12 scores. Danny Johnson Jr. (50-1,021, 10 TDs) is the team’s leading receiver.
“It’s a very big challenge,” Anderson said. “You can’t say you’re just going to load up and stop the pass or load up against the run. You have to be ready for whatever comes at you. We’re going to have our hands full.”
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