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Jalon Pipkins pulls in 52-yard touchdown pass from Quez Allen
It wasn’t the night that the 16 Wildcat senior football players had envisioned as they faced the expanse of empty seats during introductions prior to kickoff on Senior Night at Wildcat Stadium.
It wasn’t the outcome they hoped for, either, as the Pittsburg Pirates dealt Paris its fourth straight loss, 48-30, Friday under a steady light rain and before a sparse turnout due to an imminent threat of severe weather.
Mother Nature allowed completion of the District 7-4A-1 contest which leaves the Cats with the stark reality that their next loss could end a season that began with dreams of a state title. Paris, now 4-4 overall, remains winless in district play at 0-3.
The Cats travel to Quinlan Ford (1-7, 0-3) on Thursday, 7 p.m., to try to regain their winning touch. That game was moved up 24 hours to avoid the forecast for another stormy weekend.
They return to Wildcat Stadium on Friday, Nov. 6, for another true Crosstown Showdown against North Lamar. Barring shocking upsets, the implications for the Paris-NL game should be a repeat from 2014: Loser goes home, winner goes on (to the playoffs).
While the Paris defense showed some improvement from previous weeks (when opponents averaged 280 yards rushing per game), it was the Pitt defense which never let an explosive Wildcat offense get untracked.
Paris closed to within 14-10 on a Zach Lamb field goal just three minutes into the second half when the Brian Baca-led Pirate attack took control of the game.
Pitt, now 7-1 for the season and 2-1 in district, scored 20 unanswered points to take a 34-10 lead with 10 minutes remaining. The schools then combined for a bizarre 34 total points over the course of the next two minutes to provide the false impression that this game was an offensive slugfest. It wasn’t.
Paris quarterback Quez Allen had a pair of TD runs that bookend the scoring among his 22 carries for 129 yards rushing, but he didn’t find his rhythm until late after the outcome was decided. He completed just 12 of 31 attempts for 186 yards and 2 TDs.
Both Paris scoring receptions were by junior wideout Jalon Pipkins for 90 of those yards. Junior JaKerrion Brown caught 5 passes for 46 yards.
Pitt held Paris to 354 total yards and a 5.1 average per play. Only Argyle has managed a better defensive showing this season against the Cats (287 yards, 4.1 average).
The Paris defense forced three Pitt punts in the first half, thanks partly to several dropped balls by open Pirate receivers. Once they started hanging onto Baca’s passes, the balanced Pitt attack finished for 396 combined yards (189 rushing, 207 passing)
Senior Diarva Brown recorded his fourth interception of the year for the Cats, who can be reasonably optimistic that recent history is on their side. Following an upset loss to Pitt last season, the Cats were on the verge of playoff elimination as they headed into their final two games and needed to beat Quinlan Ford and North Lamar to qualify.
They got their second wind and used a strong finishing kick to advance three rounds into the state playoffs.
How Wildcat Opponents Fared:
Tieren Gates dives for a one-handed dig save which drops over the net for a point in Ladycats' win over Pittsburg Friday
Despite a tortuous second set which witnessed their opponents fighting off 10 game points, the Paris Ladycats locked up a playoff spot Friday with a 25-7, 30-28, 25-7 win over the Pittsburg Lady Pirates in the Wildcat Gym.
Also on Friday North Lamar (9-0) officially wrapped up its fifth straight district title with a win over runnerup Pleasant Grove (7-2). Liberty-Eylau (5-4) is in third place, but Paris (4-5) can tie the Lady Leopards for the No. 3 seed with a win Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym in the regular season finale. An L-E win means Paris, 13-22 overall, will finish fourth in District 15-4A and meet the District 16 champion (either Spring Hill or Gilmer) in the bi-district round the week of Nov. 2.
Paris had a relatively easy time dispatching Pittsburg (1-8) despite using a new rotation which caused a 10-minute break in action early in Game 1 while officials tried to correct a substitution error. Once play resumed, the Ladycats quickly closed out the set which featured a long run at the service line by jump-serving sophomore libero Katy Hall.
Game 2 was an entirely different story. Paris was primed to take a 2-0 match lead with a 24-16 advantage when Pitt went on an 8-0 run to tie the set at 24. The Ladycats had 2 more game points, and the Lady Pirates also had a couple in topsy-turvy action before 3 straight Pitt errors ended the drama.
Long service runs by Hall, senior Mary Cobb, and junior Tieren Gates closed out the match in Game 3. Gates produced the play of the day when she dove for a one-handed dig save that dropped over the net for an unexpected point to give Paris its first, and only needed, match point at 24-7 in Game 3.
The Paris High cross country team closed out the 2015 season by finishing 16th in both boys and girls divisions at the Region 2-4A Championships Monday at Grand Prairie Lynn Creek Park.
The top individual finishers were junior Matt Cochran (35th among boys) and sophomore Lilly Lewis (60th in girls).
The Wildcat golf team won a tournament Tuesday hosted by Commerce at Sands Hills Country Club, led by senior Chandler Bawcum, the individual medalist with a round of 77.
Paris finished 1-2-3 among the boys. Junior Jake Ensey was runnerup with an 85, and sophomore Parker Chapman fired a 94. Other Paris scores were by freshmen Nick Gentry 96, Justin Meredith 100, and Drew Bush 114.
Senior Macey Chapman finished tied for fourth with a 120 as the lone PHS girls' entry.
Tezyana Wrice leaps to block a Bailey Foy spike and give the Ladycats a 14-13 lead in Game 2
Lacking the normal electric atmosphere of a Crosstown Showdown, the 17th-ranked North Lamar Pantherettes took a step closer to another district volleyball championship with a 25-17, 25-20, 25-18 sweep over the Paris Ladycats Tuesday night in the Wildcat Gym.
The Pantherettes remain unbeaten in District 15-4A at 8-0 and can clinch the title Friday when they host second-place Pleasant Grove. Paris, meanwhile, can clinch a playoff berth Friday back in the Wildcat Gym despite a 3-5 district record with a win over Pittsburg.
The match drew, for this rivalry series, a somewhat sparse and subdued crowd due to the disparity in team records. NL is 31-7 for the season, while Paris is 12-22, although the Ladycats own 1 of the 3 dropped games on the Pantherettes' otherwise spotlight district record.
NL broke away from a 9-9 Game 1 tie with a 4-0 run started by a Bailey Jones kill. The Pantherettes were never threatened in the opening set.
Game 2 was closely contested, and Paris took its first lead at 14-13 on a block of leading NL hitter Bailey Foy by Ladycat senior Tezyana Wrice. It seemed to energize the home team, which regained the lead three more times in the game. The last advantage came at 19-18 on a kill down the line by outside hitter Bebe Johnson.
Four straight unforced errors by Paris deflated the Ladycats and enabled NL to finish out the game and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Ladycats started Game 3 in a daze, prompting a quick timeout by Paris coach Donya Mooney. Her players responded by working back into a 12-12 tie before the Pantherettes closed out the match.
Earlier in the evening both NL sub-varsity squads beat their Paris counterparts by 2-0 counts.
Paris High choir students earned 14 chairs in the High School Treble Region Choir and 6 chairs in the High School Mixed Region Choir during auditions held in Mount Pleasant on Oct. 10.
Those students will return to Mount Pleasant on Saturday, Oct. 31, for the All-Region Choirs Clinic/Concert.
Meanwhile, three PHS students who earned chairs in the Mixed Region Choir also qualified to advance to area auditions (junior soprano Tieren Gates, sophomore tenor Jake Freelen, and senior bass Quinn Dillard. Three more students qualified for pre-area (junior alto Deja Sikes, senior tenor Juan Flores, and senior bass Blaine Grissom.
This marks the second year of existence for the Treble Region Choir, and PHS choir director Jan Blize noted that PHS girls comprise more than 23% of that choir. There were about 20-25 schools who participated in regional auditions.
Assisting Blize were choir director Richard Gray and accompanist Dottie Billman.
HS Mixed Region Choir:
HS Treble Region Choir:
High School Mixed Region Choir: (front, from left) Averi McFadden, Yessica Ramirez, Deja Sikes, Tieren Gates; (back) Jake Freelen, Juan Flores, Blaine Grissom, Quinn Dillard
High School Treble Region Choir: (front, from left) Rhea Tabora, Taylor Seals, Laura Jaramillo, Ann Barrios, Tierra Ellis, Katelyn Humphrey, Elizabeth Frazier; (back) Angel Lopez, Akeirria Garvin, Baleigh LaForge, Shayna Beamon, Gabby Kennedy, Jermiia Mosley, Jacaela Yates
Each month Paris High staff recognizes a student who goes above and beyond the norm of student expectations to help make the school a better place for learning. The March winner is Tyshaun Beamon. See monthly winners on our Students of the Month page.
Paris High juniors (from left) Jeremy Seals, Evelyn Brown, Ansley Downs, and Alyssa Tacuyan have been selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp. Read more.
District Baseball. The Paris Wildcats host the Pittsburg Pirates in District 14-4A baseball Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at PJC Hub Hollis Field to close out the regular season. It will be Senior Night.
Color Guard Signups. Students interested in joining the award-winning Paris High Color Guard should sign up with Mrs. Stripland in the band office. The annual clinic starts on Monday, April 23, in the band room.