The Paris Wildcats were coming off a shutout loss at Celina, and now faced the top-ranked Argyle Eagles at home. The game was high scoring and evenly matched in an exciting first half, which ended with Argyle taking a 31-24 lead into the halftime locker room.
In the second half, though, two quick scores by the Eagles gave them the breathing room they needed to ultimately walk away with a 65-44 victory despite a great challenge from the resurgent Wildcats at home.
“There’s a reason they’re one of the top teams in the state,” Paris head football coach Steven Hohenberger said. “I was proud of our kids and the way we played. Against a team like that, they’re not going to beat themselves. They’re going to score a lot of points, that’s what they do, and I thought our kids were resilient all the way through. The thing with Argyle is you’ve got to beat them because they’re not going to beat themselves, and that was evident tonight.”
Argyle started the game off fast by scoring on an 88-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game. The Eagles held a 7-0 lead just 8 seconds into the contest. However, the Wildcats did not waver.
Paris countered Argyle’s big opening play with a long catch-and-run touchdown of its own as sophomore quarterback Luke Hohenberger found junior K.D. Washington wide open on a 59-yard scoring strike with 9:34 left in the first quarter. The successful PAT tied the game at 7-7.
On Argyle’s ensuing drive, running back Tito Byce’s 53-yard run set up a short field goal with 4:58 remaining in the opening quarter to give Argyle a 10-7 lead. However, Paris came back with another strong response. Junior running back Zy’kius Jackson bolted 59 yards to the end zone to give Paris a 14-10 lead over the Eagles with 4:01 left — the Wildcats’ first time to ever lead the Eagles in the history of the rivalry.
Argyle responded with a 35-yard touchdown run with 1:13 left in the first to reclaim the lead at 17-14, but Paris scored on the opening play of the second quarter to take the lead right back, courtesy of a 56-yard touchdown run by Luke Hohenberger with 11:48 remaining before halftime.
The final lead change came when Byce scored on a 1-yard run with 7:23 left in the second to give Argyle a 24-21 lead, but Brian Ramirez capped a solid Paris drive with a short field goal with 3:37 left before intermission to tie the game at 24-all. The field goal drive was set up by a long kickoff return by junior Rashad Wilson, who returned the ball all the way to the Argyle 19 yard line with 7:10 left.
Argyle scored with 24 ticks to go before the half on a short touchdown pass to go ahead 31-24, then came out of the locker room with another scoring drive on a touchdown pass to Cole Kirkpatrick to make it a 37-24 lead for Argyle with 7:53 left in the third after a botched PAT. Senior running back Do’rian Williams pulled Paris within single digits for the final time as he scampered 5 yards to the end zone with 4:14 remaining in the quarter to cut it to 37-30 after Paris missed a PAT.
Argyle put the game essentially out of reach with two touchdowns coming within 8 seconds of each other. The Eagles scored on a 58-yard scoring strike through the air with 3:19 remaining in the quarter, then recovered a muffed kickoff and scored another long touchdown to make it 51-30 with 3:11 left. Williams sprinted 42 yards to the end zone on the following drive for Paris with 1:28 remaining in the quarter, but Argyle responded to each of Paris’ answers in the eventual 21-point victory.
Jackson led the Paris offense with 143 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on 20 totes, while Williams had 12 carries for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. Luke Hohenberger recorded 105 passing yards and 60 rushing yards. He had 2 total touchdowns. Washington also had a 60-yard touchdown reception to go with 3 carries for 42 yards.
Dykalen Douglas and Lain Atwood led the Paris defense with 16 tackles apiece, while Quin Dangerfield amassed 14 tackles and a forced fumble. Tre McCarty was also impactful with 11 tackles and 1 tackle for a loss.
The Wildcats look to regroup at 7:30 p.m. Friday at winless Sanger, who is coming off a loss at North Lamar.
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
Argyle: 17 14 20 14 65
Paris: 14 10 13 7 44
Argyle total yards: 639
Paris total yards: 442
Paris passing leaders: L. Hohenberger, 2-for-7, 105 yards
Paris rushing leaders: Z. Jackson, 20-143; D. Williams, 12-80; L. Hohenberger, 2-60; K. Washington, 3-42; M. McCarty, 1-9
Paris receiving leaders: K. Washington, 1-60; J. Lee, 1-45