Parkview Baptist’s shiny new No. 1 ranking in Class 3A will be tested for a good portion of the state to witness.
The Eagles unseated University High as this week’s top-ranked team, parlaying a 33-26 victory over Class 5A’s eighth-ranked Catholic High, while the Cubs stumbled against Archbishop Rummel.
Parkview (1-0) puts its ranking and reputation as one of the state’s top programs on the line at 7 p.m. Thursday when the Eagles visit Class 2A’s No. 9 Riverside Academy (0-1) in Reserve.
The marquee matchup is this week’s New Orleans Saints/LHSAA Game of the Week to be carried live on Fox 38.
“That was a great win, but that was last week and we have to move on,” PBS second-year coach Jay Mayet said. “Our kids have been pretty good about that. It was a great victory and the way we won, but we’ve preached to them that one win doesn’t define your season. Definitely not one in the first week of the season.”
PBS overcame a 19-6 first-quarter deficit and later snapped a 26-all tie in the final six minutes on the fourth rushing touchdown from senior quarterback Reggie Hayes.
Hayes accounted for all five of his team’s scores, rushing 21 times for 120 yards and four TDs and throwing for another. Senior running back Kayin White carried 16 times for 138 yards as part of a 405-yard effort.
“They’re extremely well coached,” Riverside coach Bill Stubbs said of PBS. “Their quarterback’s off the charts and will probably be the best we’ll see all year. He’s versatile with blazing speed.”
Stubbs, who has a 171-52 record, first built Salmen into a Class 4A power before taking over Riverside, where he’s steadily built the Rebels into a Class 2A contender, leading them to a 12-1 season and Division III state semifinals a year ago.
“Coach Stubbs’ reputation speaks for itself with what he’s done at Riverside but also Salmen,” Mayet said. “The combination of a good, big and athletic team that’s well coached is definitely a challenge.”
Despite the fact Riverside’s playing with its No. 3 quarterback Herb McGee, the Rebels rallied from a 22-7 halftime deficit Friday to take a 28-22 lead over Class 5A’s John Ehret with just under 11 minutes left to play.
McGee, who’s replaced previously injured starters Jordan Loving (back) and Jared Butler (elbow), passed for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns to running back Jeremy Gibson. Running back Brandon Sanders had 79 yards and a TD on 21 carries before Ehret scored the go-ahead TD with 3:48 to go.
“We’ve just got to try to limit the amount of big plays we give up and kind of grind it out on offense,” Mayet said. “It’s what we did last week. When we get the ball, we’ve got to hold on and put our normal Parkview drives together where we milk some clock and punch it in for a score.”