Semifinals: Notre Dame vs. Parkview Baptist

Unbeaten No. 1 Notre Dame and offensive lineman Pete Petitjean head east on I-10 this evening for a rematch of last year's state title game vs. No. 5 Parkview Baptist. Will the Pioneers get the chance to win another championship trophy, or do the Eagles get payback?

(Class 3A picks through three rounds: 22-5; Overall, 107-32)

NO. 1 NOTRE DAME (13-0) AT NO. 5 PARKVIEW BAPTIST (10-2) -- This is a rematch of last year's state title game, won by Notre Dame (14-7).

In the quarterfinals, Notre Dame quickly rallied from an early deficit to cruise past Carroll, 39-8. Running backs Stu Cook and Logan Venable combined for almost 300 yards, with Cook crossing the goal-line on three occasions.

QB Waylon Young, a first-year starter, has thrown for more than 1,100 yards and a dozen touchdowns for the Pioneers, who have reached the semifinal round in 10 of the last 11 years.

The Pioneers of head coach Lewis Cook haven't encountered a close call since a 17-14 win over Class 4A St. Louis Catholic back in September.

Last year, each team featured a marquee college prospect, as Notre Dame linebacker D.J. Welter (now at LSU) and Parkview Baptist athlete Drew Dileo (Michigan) were familiar names to recruiting fans.

The 2010 versions of the Pioneers and the Eagles may lack the star power of a Welter or Dileo, but there's still plenty of tremendous football players on the field, including Notre Dame offensive lineman Pete Petitjean, PBS defensive lineman/short-yardage fullback Tom Bove, and PBS fullback Brandon Johnson.

Johnson, a strong inside runner, has gained nearly 900 yards this year with eight touchdowns. Bove, perhaps an even stronger inside runner, can move the pile forward with ease at 255 pounds. Bove has registered more than 50 tackles with a dozen TFL. His father played college ball at UConn.

Petitjean was recognized as one of the top offensive linemen at the Nike Football Training Camp held in Baton Rouge several months ago.

Both teams excel at running the football, although Notre Dame has been quite balanced this year. Parkview Baptist's double-wing option attack is always a joy to watch for football purists.

Not many teams (in any classification) are as strong in the trenches as Parkview Baptist. Notre Dame hasn't lost since 2008, but that could change tonight in Baton Rouge.

PBS, playing at home, gets the nod here. The Eagles dropped games to 5A powerhouses Acadiana and Dutchtown, but they fared well in those games, and that's a good indication of just how strong Parkview Baptist is this year.

The Eagles were able to slow down the potent Redemptorist offense at the end of the regular-season and that speaks volumes.

Parkview Baptist, 17-13

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