- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By CHARLES RICHARDS
Quarterback Montravious James ran for one touchdown and threw for 314 yards and five touchdowns to lead Mount Pleasant to a runaway 57-27 victory over Paris in the season opener Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
A stunned Seniors Night crowd watched as the Tigers held Paris to three first downs in the first half while scoring almost at will themselves. Mount Pleasant led 21-0 after one quarter, 37-0 at the half, and 50-0 in the third quarter before the Wildcats battled back with 20 unanswered points to stop the bleeding.
Mount Pleasant went time and time again right through the heart of a Paris defense that returned eight starters from coach Barry Bowman’s stellar 9-2 first season with the Wildcats after three straight state championships at Daingerfield.
“The first half, we couldn’t do anything right, and it seemed like they could do no wrong, and all that kind of snowballed on us,” Bowman said on the field after the game.
“Some of it we caused ourselves by poor decisions and mistakes. I am proud that we didn’t quit. The kids played in the second half, and that gives us something to build on and move forward.
“I told the kids, I have done this long enough I’ve been on this end of it and I’ve been on the other end of it, and I’ve had teams that would take something like this and learn from it and then go three, four, even five games into the playoffs,” Bowman said.
Three of James’ touchdown passes — for 9, 31 and 87 yards — went to 6-1, 165-pound junior wide receiver Kaderius Cannon, who is the subject of an intensive recruiting battle by numerous Division I universities.
“That receiver is the real deal,” Bowman said. “And the quarterback is mobile and moves around and finds him.”
James added two more touchdown passes of 25 yards to Ty Wilkerson and 56 yards to Jaquille Rodgers.
Paris backup quarterback Keandre Robinson figured in all four of the Wildcats’ touchdowns after coming in for starter Dakota Smith in the second half.
Robinson threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Joe Wallace and a 91-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Mason in the third quarter. Robinson ran for a 29-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 23-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Smith was picked off four times — twice for Mount Pleasant touchdowns. Josh Scoggin ran one back 49 yards in the second quarter, and Jamarlon Brown took an interception back 29 yards in the third quarter.
Mount Pleasant added a safety when the snap went over Smith’s head and rolled through the end zone.
“Keandre did a good job,” Bowman said. “That’s hard, to come in and you’re the backup guy, and come in and start doing stuff, making things happen. Dakota did some good things but, you know, he made some bad decisions, and so did Keandre. Between them, at quarterback, you’re talking about zero years experience on Friday night.”
Mount Pleasant coach Mart Graham told the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune:“We came into this game ready and showed what we are capable of. We just had to put it all together, and when we do we are tough to stop. Our defense played tremendously all night long. I think we should have a very good practice on Monday. I have told our boys all along that they can be as good as they want to be, and I am hoping tonight shows them that.”
Bowman said, “Like I told (superintendent Paul) Trull, just now, I think this could be one of the best things that happens to us. Our attitudes were good in the second half, and the coaches were great in the second half — you know, patting the kids on the back, encouraging them, being positive and all that stuff. I think that was huge.
“It gives us something to look forward to and build on and all that. Of course, the schedule doesn’t get any easier, but — I don’t care, you know? It’s not about the schedule, it’s about us, trying to get better and trying to get ready for a district run and see if we can make things happen. We’ve got to get better one day at a time, one play at a time, and we will. We took a big step in the second half. I expect we’ll have a good week of work, and we’ll go to Denison next Friday and see what happens.”
Robinson completed 4-of-10 passes for 128 yards, and Smith completed 5-of-13 for 71 yards and four interceptions. Mason caught four passes for 137 yards, Wallace two passes for 34 yards, with Jackson Reeves adding one catgch for 16 yards, Quay Henderson one reception for 13 yards, and Quay Scott one catch for minus 1 yard.
Despite Robinson’s 65 yards on the ground on 15 carries, the Wildcats ended up with just 23 yards total rushing, thanks to a minus 49 yards on two snaps over the quarterback’s head. Khalid Williams gained 12 yards on three carries, Scott had 2 yards on six carries, and Smith had three carries for minus 7 yards.
Defensively, Bricky Reed had five tackles, including three solo. Jay Garvin, Jamal Black, Kidarius Corprew, and Raheem Palmore had four tackles each.
Reed had two sacks, and Sed Ellis had one. Black forced a fumble, Palmore recovered a fumble. Black and Traveon Gaines broke up two passes apiece, and Palmore broke up one pass.
The Wildcat defense had six tackles for loss — two by Black and one each by Palmore, Jordan Williams, Josh Reynolds, and Corwin Cary.
MT. PLEASANT 21 16 13 7–57
PARIS 0 0 20 7—27
MP-Kaderius Cannon 9 pass from Montravious James (Juan Buitron kick), The Tigers made four first downs while going 61 yards in eight plays after the opening kickoff. James completed 5-of-6 passes for 64 yards, while two rushing plays lost 3 yards. (7-0) 9:34 1Q.
MP—Ty Wilkerson 25 pass from James (Buitron kick). Paris made a first down on its first possession before punting on fourth-and-9 from its 30. The Tigers went 73 yards in eight plays. A key play was when the Tigers fumbled on the second play but managed to keep possession at the MP 36. Wide receiver Andrew Flanagan took a deflected pass and went 45 yards to the Paris 10. An illegal block was called on the play, setting MP back to the 25, but Wilkerson outreached a Wildcat defender for a TD catch in the left side of the end zone two plays later. (14-0). 4:24 1Q.
MP—Jaquille Rodgers 56 pass from James (Buitron kick). After Paris went three and out, the Tigers went 53 yards in two plays. After losing 3 yards on the first play, James threw 43 yards in the air to Rodgers, who caught the pass on the Paris 13 while two defenders collided nearby. (21-0). 1:57 1Q.
MP—Cannon 31 pass from James (Buitron kick). On fourth-and-25 from his own 10, Paris’ Dakota Smith, standing in the end zone, punted to the 50, and the Tigers returned the ball to the Paris 40. A pass interference call put the ball on the 25, James was sacked to the 31, then threw a short pass to Cannon, who caught the ball, then weaved his way around several defenders and went untouched into the end zone on the first play of the second quarter. (28-0). 11:51 2Q.
MP—Josh Scoggin 49 interception return (Buitron kick). After Paris twice went three-and-out but also forced Mount Pleasant to punt, Paris took over at its 2 after a 58-yard MP punt. On second down, Dakota Smith completed a 40-yard pass to the Paris 47, but the next play Scoggin stepped in front of a Paris receiver in the left flat and raced down the sideline for the touchdown. (35-0). 1:30 2Q.
MP—Safety, ball snapped through the end zone. While taking the kickoff back from the 4 to the 21, Paris was called for an illegal block, which put the ball on the Paris 7. On first down, Smith threw a first-down pass to Quay Henderson to the 19. After Mason dropped a pass at the 30, the snap from center went over Smith’s head and bounced through the end zone for a safety. (37-0). 0:58 2Q.
Mount Pleasant took the free kick at its 45 and took a knee twice to run out the first half.
MP—Jamarlon Brown 29 interception return (Buitron kick). Paris took the second half kickoff to its 25. On the second play, Brown stepped in front of a would-be Paris receiver for an interception at the 29 and ran into the end zone. (44-0). 11:13 3Q.
MP—Cannon 87 pass from James (kick failed). After Paris went three-and-out, Smith punted to the Mount Pleasant 17. On the next play, Cannon took a short pass from James and ran down the right sideline for the touchdown, eluding a final Paris defender at the Wildcat 20. (50-0). 9:45 3Q.
PARIS—Joe Wallace 24 pass from Keandre Robinson (Victor Guzman kick). This was the first of three straight touchdowns by the Wildcats. (50-7) 7:36 3Q.
PARIS—Robinson 29 run (kick failed). After a kickoff and penalty back to the MP 28, Tigers backup QB Cullen Grubbs was unable to move the Tigers, and they punted out of bounds at the Paris 34. A few plays later, Robinson kept the ball around the left side and scampered untouched for the touchdown. (50-13). 4:41 3Q.
PARIS—Kenny Mason 91 pass from Robinson (Guzman kick). After holding Mount Pleasant to three-and-out, the Wildcats took over after a 50-yard punt rolled dead at the Paris 23. The first snap went over Robinson’s head for a 14-yard loss to the 9, and Robinson threw incomplete from the end zone on second down, barely avoiding a sack for a safety. On third down, Robinson threw downfield where Mason grabbed the ball and ran to the end zone, completing the 91-yard play. (50-20). 2:05 3Q.
MP—James 9 run (Buitron kick). The Tigers drove 64 yards in seven plays after Smith avoided disaster on fourth-and-eight from his 32 when the ball bounced high off his hand. The left-footed Smith picked up the ball and, running to his left, evaded defenders and got off a punt that went 32 yards to the MP 36.
The Tigers went 64 yards in seven plays. On third-and-eight from the Paris 35, James was hit late out of bounds near the Mount Pleasant bench. The Tigers quarterback pushed back, and players from both sides rushed in, along with coaches from both teams. Offsetting penalties were called, and after a 26-yard gain to the nine, James ran left to the left pylon and managed to place the nose of the ball inside the end zone for the touchdown. (57-20). 9:34 4Q.
PARIS—Robinson 23 run (Guzman kick). Paris’ Donte Bills returned the kickoff to the Paris 40, and after an offside penalty against Mount Pleasant, Khalid Williams ran for 13 yards, and Robinson hit Jackson Reeves on a 16-yard completion to the Mount Pleasant 23. Robinson ran for a touchdown on the next play. (57-27). 7:15 4Q.
Paris recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, taking over at the Mount Pleasant 45. But the first-down snap got away from Robinson for a nine-yard loss, and two passes went incomplete. On fourth-and-19, Robinson ran around the right side to the Mount Pleasant 43, where he was tackled on the sideline. He lay there awhile, and two teammates helped him limp to the Paris bench. Robinson never returned to the game, but Paris coach Barry Bowman said the injury wasn’t serious.
Paris held Mount Pleasant to three-and-out, and the Wildcats took over on the Paris 41. But after two plays picked up 24 yards to the Mount Pleasant 35, the Tigers’ T.K. Koontz made a leaping interception of Smith at the MP five-yard line. Mount Pleasant ran out the final 2:35, helped by a couple of offside penalties against Paris.