J.T. Curtis knew exactly who he was looking at when he came to scout a semifinal game between University High and Parkview Baptist two years ago.
Still, the John Curtis football coach was surprised by just how much sophomore Reggie Hayes Jr. looked and played like his father.
“I knew exactly who he was the moment I saw him,” Curtis said of the younger Hayes. “To be fair, I knew he was Parkview’s quarterback before we came.
“They have a linebacker whose father played for me. Even knowing that, it was amazing to me how much he looks and plays just like his dad.”
Of course, few could blame Curtis if he wanted to forget Reggie Hayes Sr., the quarterback who led Broadmoor High to a stunning 22-7 victory over John Curtis in a Class 3A quarterfinal playoff game in 1989.
And now — almost 26 years later — there’s another Hayes/Curtis showdown. Parkview (1-1) hosts Curtis (2-0) at 7 p.m. for a game that highlights Thursday’s football schedule. St. John-Plaquemine (0-2) at Catholic-Pointe Coupee (0-2) and Ascension Catholic (1-1) at Central Catholic-Morgan City are the other games.
The Curtis-Parkview game is a testament to how things change and yet remain somewhat the same. Curtis is now in Class 5A and is ranked third. Parkview (1-1) was No. 1 in 3A for one week and now sits at No. 3 after a Week 2 loss to Class 2A Riverside Academy.
In 1989, Reggie Hayes Sr. ran the veer for Broadmoor. Both Parkview and Curtis run different versions of the option.
“I always hear about how we don’t throw the ball enough,” Parkview coach Jay Mayet said. “Last night I told our Quarterback Club that we’re finally going to play a team that throws the ball less than we do.
“The thing about Curtis is the consistency of their program. You can pop in a film from 1970 and it looks pretty much the same as a game from this year. You’ve just got different guys in the uniforms.
“I’ve told our we’re not playing against the tradition Curtis has. Nobody can match their 26 state football titles. What we have to do is focus on playing against the 2015 Curtis team.”
Reggie Hayes Sr., who went on to play at Louisiana-Lafayette, agrees with Mayet’s approach, citing his own experience.
“The thing I remember about that (1989) game is that there was no way in the world people thought we would win it,” Hayes said. “At the time, I didn’t understand that. To me, Curtis was just another team. They were a lot bigger than we were. But we had a group of guys who were determined to win.”
Hayes said he’s talked to his son about the 1989 Curtis game over the years and was excited when Parkview and Curtis agreed to play each other. The elder Hayes said the key for the Eagles, including his son, will be patience.
After last week’s 27-19 loss to Riverside, Mayet has taken a back-to-basics approach, stressing execution while eliminating mistakes.
“Reggie needs to use his speed. … There’s no question about that,” Hayes said. “Making good decisions and not making big mistakes is what will be the most important thing. If Parkview does that, they’ll give themselves a chance.”
There are two more notable connections for Curtis and PBS. Parkview linebacker Matthew Murla is the son of former Curtis linebacker Mike Murla. J.T. Curtis coached future LSU star Lyman White, father of PBS running back Kayin White, in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star football game in the late 1970s.
“One of things we try to do in predistrict is play programs who are solid and will challenge us,” J.T. Curtis said.
“Parkview is one of those programs.”