Offense the key between Parkview, Notre Dame
NEW ORLEANS - Too big. Too powerful. Too good.
That was the Parkview Baptist football team Saturday in its Class AAA state championship game against the Notre Dame Pioneers.
The Eagles, looking every bit as good as their No. 1 seeding suggested, racked up 416 yards of total offense and held the Pios to just nine first downs and 162 total yards en route to a surprisingly easy 42-7 victory.
“I think it was pretty evident who the best team tonight was,” said Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook, whose team finished the season with a record of 12-2. “After the first quarter, they just took over the football game and they were just too powerful for us.”
The Eagles’ victory is even more impressive considering the Pios were averaging just under 30 points and well over 300 yards per outing on offense and limiting opponents to an average of 11 points and 250 yards on defense.
The performance shocked nearly everyone, including Parkview coach Kenny Guillot.
“I am a little shocked, not that we won, but at the score,” saId Guillot. “Our kids came out and played hard and played very fast and physical. They executed great on offense, defense and special teams.”
Parkview’s victory was their third over the Pios in as many years. The Eagles defeated Notre Dame in the regional round last year and knocked them off in 2010 in the semifinals.
Notre Dame’s first two drives of the game were their best of the night, netting 117 yards. Austin Thibodeaux scored on the second one to give the Pios a 7-0 advantage.
But from there, it was all Parkview.
The Pios were limited to just 45 yards and three first downs over the final three quarters.
“The first two drives, we had our way a little bit and after that, it was just hard,” said Cook. “They crowded the line of scrimmage a little bit and it seemed like there was always one guy that we would just get a piece of.
“They just dominated us up front. The game is won at the line of scrimmage and they won that battle.”
The Eagles offense was able to move the ball at will from the second quarter on and they used a little bit of trickery to gain the momentum and reel off 21 unanswered points before the half.
After cutting the lead to 7-6 midway through the second quarter, Parkview executed an onside kick and recovered it on the Pios’ 44-yard line.Five plays later, Hezekiah Randolph scored from one-yard out.
Following a three-and-out by the Pios, Parkview mounted another drive that culminated in a 31-yard touchdown pass from Brennan Bozeman to Seth Shah for a 21-7 lead.
Bozeman keyed the Eagles’ offense, connecting on five of his eight pass attempts for 95 yards and a touchdown. He also ran the option to near perfection and finished the night with 73 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries to earn Parkview’s Outstanding Player award.
“Bozeman was the difference in the game,” said Cook. “Just the decisions that he makes, the passes that he threw. The onside kick obviously was huge and they got it back and converted right away. Then they throw right before the half. The second quarter was really tough.”
The Pios were still in the game at the half, but the nail in the coffin came after another three-and-out to start the third quarter.
Michael Tarwater broke through the line and blocked Dustin Reiners’ punt attempt, giving the Eagles the ball back at the ND 31.
The Eagles then distanced themselves even more with a 10-play drive the ended with Bozeman scoring from one-yard out.
They added one more score in the third quarter and another in the fourth on an 18-play, 86 yard drive that took just over 11 minutes off the clock.
Offensively, the Pios had 109 yards on the ground and 53 through the air.
Sophomore quarterback Brad Stoma completed two passes and had one interception in the third quarter.
“I just felt like I didn’t contribute like I should have,” said Stoma, who hit John Michael Besse on a on a 36-yard pass and hooked up with Nick Benoit for 17 yards. “Our offense didn’t really help out our defense too much. The defense did what they could but we could have done better on offense.”
Luke Broussard paced the Pios rushing attack with 12 carries for 67 yards and Austin Thibodeaux had 39 yards, also on 12 carries.
Kipp Credeur led the Pios defensively and earned the Notre Dame Outstanding Player award with his 17.5 tackle performance. He also forced a fumble and had a tackle for a loss of one yard.
“I wasn’t really concerned with how many tackles I had, I was just trying to help the team get a win,” said Credeur.