Some of the top names remain the same.
University High still has LSU commitment Nick Brossette at running back and Manny Miles, the son of LSU coach Les Miles, at quarterback. Another quarterback, Reggie Hayes Jr., is back to help lead Parkview Baptist.
Don’t be surprised if the players who anchor the line make a huge impact when top-ranked University (5-0, 2-0) hosts No. 6 Parkview Baptist (4-1, 2-0) for a pivotal District 7-3A game that highlights Thursday’s football schedule.
“A lot of the skill guys are back,” U-High coach Chad Mahaffey said. “The differences are on the lines. We’ve some new guys playing up front on offense and defense and so does Parkview. I think that’s where the game will be won. That’s where most games are decided. Whoever controls the line of scrimmage is going to have an advantage.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at UHS’ Boss Field/Gill Stadium. The other Thursday game sends Broadmoor (2-3, 1-1) to Live Oak (1-4, 0-2) for a District 4-5A contest.
The game is one Louisiana’s marquee games in any classification for Week 6. It’s also the continuation of an intriguing rivalry that started last season when U-High moved up to Class 3A for the first time.
The Cubs beat PBS twice last season, including a 42-35 victory in Week 6. The teams met again in the Division II select semifinals, a game the Cubs won by a 58-23 margin.
First-year PBS coach Jay Mayet downplays any revenge motivation for the Eagles, who have won four straight since losing their season opener to Class 5A Catholic High.
“As a competitor, you always want to win,” Mayet said. “So I guess I can see how people could see it that way (as a revenge game), but what we want to do is get better every week.
“I’ve been very pleased with how we’ve been playing offensively the last few weeks. If we can avoid making mistakes and turnovers, I feel like we have a chance to move the ball and have some success. We can’t hurt ourselves.”
Hayes has become a multi-purpose threat in the Eagles’ option offense with 933 yards total offense, including 565 rushing yards. The junior scored on a 97-yard run in last week’s win over Brusly. Mahaffey has been stressing assignment football with his defense that includes linebacker Dylan Moses, the nation’s top sophomore.
Brossette is the other big-play threat. The bruising running back moved into 11th place on the all-time national list for career touchdowns scored with 122 after scoring three times in last week’s win over Glen Oaks.
Miles and the Cubs’ youthful offensive line are the wild cards. Miles suffered an ankle sprain in Week 1 and Thursday’s game will be his first start since. Mahaffey said Jalon Baker also may take some snaps at quarterback.
“It’s a big district game, but it’s also a big game in terms of finding out where we are as a team,” Mahaffey said. “We’ve got a group of young guys who have started half the season now. This is a chance for them to show what they can do.”