It’s hard to believe University High and Parkview Baptist had never met on the football field until last year. The two local powers are now set to meet for the fourth time in 2013-14.
This one could be the biggest showdown of all. Top-seeded U-High (12-0) meets No. 7 Parkview Baptist (9-3) in the all-Baton Rouge Division II select state title game that helps highlight Friday’s action at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/Louisiana High School Athletic Association Prep Classic.
Game time is set for 5 p.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The four-game schedule starts at 10 a.m. with another local team, No. 5 Southern Lab (8-5), taking on No. 6 Ouachita Christian (10-3) in the Division IV title game.
“Obviously, we’re proud to be part of what our district (District 7-3A) has done in the playoffs,” U-High coach Chad Mahaffey said. “Not only do you have us and Parkview, there’s also West Feliciana still in it (in the nonselect semifinals).
“Parkview lost some games this year, but they kept going. You can look at film and see they’ve gotten stronger and better since we played them the first time. They’re a different team and so are we, so I think it would be foolish for anyone to draw conclusions about how this game will go based on that first one.”
U-High is 3-0 in its games with Parkview. The Cubs notched a 28-7 victory over the Eagles in a District 7-3A game that was televised statewide on Oct. 9. Manny Miles, son of LSU coach Les Miles, passed for 273 yards in his first full game back after missing most of four games with an ankle injury.
The game could have been closer. PBS failed to score on two chances in the red zone, including a fourth-down stop of Eagles running back Houston Robert by Jalon Baker and a host UHS tacklers near the goal line.
University’s 58-23 win over Parkview in last year’s Division II semifinals was not as close. The Cubs won a 42-35 shootout the first time the teams played in October 2013.
Where Parkview has the edge is state titles. U-High was shut out by John Curtis in last year’s Division II title game. The Cubs’ last state title was in Class 1A in 1988. PBS has won four titles since 2001, including three since 2007. PBS’ last title came in 2012 with a 42-7 victory over Notre Dame, the program U-High beat in Friday’s semifinals.
First-year Parkview coach Jay Mayet credits his team’s ability to bounce back after losses to Catholic High in Week 1 and West Feliciana in Week 10, along with the Week 6 UHS loss.
“It’s a credit to the staff and to these kids for keeping it together,” Mayet said. “They’ve had to adapt because of injuries and other issues since Day 1 before the season started. They’ve believed in themselves and gotten better, which is all you can ask for.
“You can also look at film and see that U-High has gotten better. We’re excited about playing for a state title.”
There have been fewer title-game chances for Southern Lab. The Kittens beat Kentwood to win a 1A title in 1996 and lost to Haynesville in 2000 with a team led by future LSU star Marcus Spears.
A year ago, Southern Lab beat Ouachita Christian 20-14 before losing to St. Frederick in the Division II semifinals.
“We have kids on this team that weren’t born the last time Southern Lab played for a state title,” SLHS coach Nick Mitchell said. “Opportunities like this don’t come along that often.
“The foundation was set over the last four years. I’m proud of these kids. We know what Ouachita Christian is about. They play hard-nosed, physical football. They’re going to test us.”
Ouachita Christian made back-to-back Prep Classic appearances in 2010 and 2011. The Eagles lost to another area team, White Castle, in the 2010 1A final and then beat West St. John to win the 1A crown in 2011.