Each team knows not to take anything at face value Friday night. That is just one reason why Parkview Baptist at Plaquemine High is a football game worth watching Friday.
The two teams are part of District 6-4A and not one of Baton Rouge’s power-broker Class 5A districts. Neither is ranked in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s top 10, but the Eagles and Green Devils bring a bit of intrigue mixed with run the ball/comfort-food football.
“If we can play well enough to get the win, it will put us in the driver’s seat in district,” PBS coach Jay Mayet said. “We beat Lutcher last week, and Plaquemine still has to play them down the line. We have a great deal of respect for Paul (Distefano) and their team. They are always big and physical. We know they will never give up. They did not last year.”
The 7 p.m. PBS-Plaquemine game helps highlight the area Week 7 schedule in Class 5A/4A. It might look like a mismatch. Parkview (1-5, 1-0) picked up its first win last week, and it was a big one, beating Lutcher 36-27. Plaquemine opened 6-4A play with a 31-0 win over Tara.
Plaquemine (4-2, 1-0) won't sell Parkview short. The Eagles played one of the toughest predistrict schedules in the state, matching up with the likes of top-ranked John Curtis of 5A and No. 3 Southern Lab of 1A. They also played defending state champions Zachary and University.
“We know who Parkview is,” Distefano said. “They are much better than their record indicates. And we know what to expect. You will see a lot of old-fashioned football because we both run the ball. You can take all the coaching clichés about field position, turnovers and special teams and apply them. Whoever wins those battles will probably win.”
Parkview got a boost against Lutcher with the return of quarterback Colton Jumonville, who had been sidelined by a shoulder injury since the Zachary scrimmage. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Jumonville is the biggest quarterback to orchestrate the Eagles’ option offense.
Jumonville ran for 115 yards and a touchdown last week. Melvin McClay leads Plaquemine with 749 yards on 79 carries and has scored eight TDs.
Neither team expects the game to be exactly like the one last year. The Eagles led 17-0 at halftime and 32-0 in the fourth quarter before Plaquemine battled to it make a 32-27 final.
“I get flack from parents and other people about how tough our schedule is,” Mayet said. “When we do get to a game like this one, we know there should be no surprises. We’ve seen some of the best teams and players. Plaquemine is next.”
In between week
The challenges are different for area's three ranked 5A teams. Third-ranked East Ascension (6-0, 1-0) and No. 4 Catholic High (5-1, 1-0) won't play until next week at EAHS' Spartan Stadium. On Fridya, the Bears host McKinley (2-4, 1-0) at Olympia and East Ascension travels to Broadmoor (1-5, 0-1).
Meanwhile, sixth-ranked Zachary (4-2, 2-0) completes its of cycle Livingston Parish opponents with a key matchup at Denham Springs (4-2, 1-1). ZHS beat the other Livingston teams, Live Oak and Walker to open 4-5A play.