Notre Dame vs. Parkview Baptist: Expect physical game

By definition Parkview Baptist football coach Kenny Guillot said the term rivalry applies when playing another team on an annual basis.

Given the frequency Parkview Baptist and Notre Dame-Crowley have crossed paths during the postseason — including Saturday’s date in the Class 3A state championship game — it’s hard to quantify their hard-fought series any other way.

“I wouldn’t call it a rivalry because a rivalry is played every year,” Guillot said. “It’s just two well-coached, well-disciplined football teams playing each other with mutual respect. This just happens the way it falls.”

When No. 1 Parkview Baptist (12-0) meets No. 2 Notre Dame (12-1) at about 4 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome it will represent the fourth straight year the two Class 3A powers have met. They have split their last six meetings since 2001, the same year the Eagles claimed their first of three state championships.

“I don’t know if we even need to swap film,” Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook Jr. “They know what we’re going to do, and we know that they’re going to do. They’re physical, have great execution and one of the best coached teams on the state.

“It’s going to be another slugfest. It’s going to be a heavyweight fight. They’re going to come right at us.”

The Parkview-Notre Dame encounter will be one of five games in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association/State Farm Prep Classic in which all five matchups are No. 1 versus No. 2 encounters that start with a pair of games Friday.

No.1 Ouachita Christian (14-0) faces No. 2 Haynesville (11-2) in the Class 1A title game at 4 p.m. followed at approximately 8 p.m. by top-seeded Neville (13-0) and second-seeded Edna Karr (13-0) for the second consecutive season in the Class 4A game.

“It’s a true testament to how well our coaches are doing and preparing our young men every week and that the program’s headed in the right direction,” Karr football coach Jabbar Juluke said. “We’re blessed and humble to play for the state championship for a third time and we just want to go out and try our best and put our best foot forward.”

No. 1 John Curtis-River Ridge (13-0) opens play Saturday at noon against No. 2 Evangel Christian Academy-Shreveport (12-2) in Class 2A action followed by Parkview and Notre Dame at 4.

No. 1 Archbishop Rummel (13-0) and No. 2 Barbe-Lake Charles (13-1) are scheduled to conclude play at 8 p.m. for the Class 5A crown.

Class 3A

PARKVIEW-NOTRE DAME: For the second time in their evolving postseason series Parkview and Notre Dame will meet in the final game of the season.

The Pioneers won the school’s fourth state title and second in Class 3A with a 14-7 victory over the Eagles in 2009.

Last season the two teams ran into each other rather early with Parkview grinding out a 28-13 regional victory in Crowley a year after the Eagles recorded a 17-0 home semifinal shutout en route to the school’s third state title.

“I told him (Cook) it’s really kind of neat to play him because we have so much respect for him and their program,” Guillot said.

“They’re such a big challenge. It’s not an easy chore. They’re just so well coached, disciplined and a physical football team like us. It’s just one of those games where every yard, every play matters. That can make a difference in the outcome of a game.”

Parkview reached its fifth state final with a 49-6 victory over No. 5 Livonia behind 167 yards rushing and two touchdowns from junior wingback Erik Martinez and an additional 127 yards rushing and three TDs from senior quarterback Brennan Bozeman.

The Eagles also forced three turnovers and defensive lineman Victor Gutierrez returned a fumble 49 yards for a first-half touchdown.

Notre Dame traveled for the second time in the playoffs and held off No. 22 East Feliciana 16-14 to clinch its seventh appearance since 2000 in the Class 3A final. The win also enabled Cook (287-75) to pass legendary coach Dick McCloskey (286-141) of Hanson Memorial-Franklin into sixth place in career wins.

Class 4A

NEVILLE-KARR: Karr dispatched of fellow New Orleans-area school Holy Cross, 28-16, to make its third straight appearance in the Class 4A final.

The Cougars lost two years ago to Terrence Magee-led Franklinton 34-28 and fell to Neville, 27-6, a year ago. The Tigers, who won their 10th state crown last season, are making their third trip in four years to 4A title game.

“We’re hoping the third time’s the charm,” Juluke said. “We have to stay healthy, don’t turn the ball over, sustain drives and don’t give up the big play to those guys.”

It’s been nearly two decades since Karr won a state championship. The Cougars defeated Cecilia, 13-10 in overtime, to claim the Class 3A crown in 1993.

The Cougars made two more appearances in the 3A final, falling to Cecilia in ’95 and Amite in ’99.

“They have the opportunity to be on the big stage three years in a row and most people can’t say that,” Juluke said. “This time we’ve got to try and play our best and come out victorious.”

Classic notes

Rummel and Barbe are in search of their first state title. The Raiders return for the second time in four years while the Buccaneers are back for the first time in 32 years when current coach Mike Cutrera played for Barbe. … Curtis, which is celebrating the school’s 50th anniversary this year, is in pursuit of its 25th state title in 31 appearances. Evangel, which won two of its 13 titles over Curtis in 2009 and ’10, lost 38-6 to the Patriots in last year’s semifinal round. … Ouachita Christian is riding a 29-game win streak and has won 38 of its last 39 games, since a 32-20 loss to White Castle in the 1A title in ’10. Haynesville’s looking to add to its collection of 15 state titles with its first title appearance in three years.

Advocate sportswriter
Robin Fambrough contributed to this report.