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Paris High School wide receiver Tevarius Williams (24) and quarterback Corban Taylor (10) both played Saturday night for the winning Red squad in the second annual Heart of a Champion Bowl at Longview, while center Tez Allen (64) played every offensive snap for the Blue squad. The game, which matches standout high school seniors from across East Texas, is sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Every player in the game was presented a plaque like the one Williams is holding, showing a picture of all the players. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Rhodes Winter)
Tez Allen’s compadres on the Paris Wildcat offensive line were in the stands at Longview’s high school stadium, Lobo Field, to cheer on the Paris players. From left are Brice Winter, Kelvin Ellis Jr., Andrew Dunn and Jarreckus Graves. (Photo courtesy of Sherri Rhodes Winter)
Daniel and Sheri Winter pose with Paris Wildcats center Tez Allen following the second annual FCA Heart of a Champion Bowl in Longview on Saturday night. The Winters’ son, Brice, played alongside Allen on the Paris Wildcats offensive line last fall. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Rhodes Winter)
LONGVIEW, Texas — Paris quarterback Corban Taylor threw a touchdown pass Saturday night in the second annual FCA Heart of a Champion Bowl, helping the Reds to a 24-17 victory over the Blues.
Tevairus Williams, a 5-8 wide receiver who was Taylor’s favorite target last season with the Wildcats, also played for the Reds, and Wildcat center Tez Allen played every offensive snap for the Blues at center.
About 3,000 people watched the all-star game that matched senior football players from across East Texas. The game was played in Lobo Stadium.
Sulphur Springs quarterback Justin Owens connected with New Boston’s Garrett Burnett on a 9-yard TD pass to put the Reds on the scoreboard first.
But the Blues struck back with a 31-yard field goal by Austin Lightie of Hallsville and the first of two touchdown passes from the game’s offensive MVP, Jonathan Aldridge of Whitehouse.
Blue linebacker Terrance Stevens of Tyler John Tyler intercepted Chapel Hill quarterback Avery Saenz at the Red 45 and returned it 33 yards to the 12.
Two plays later, Blue quarterback Riley Toler of Kilgore found Aldridge on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds left in the second quarter, and the Blue squad was up 10-7 at halftime.
Taylor regained the lead for the Red squad with 7:57 left in the third quarter. The Wildcat quarterback threw a 6-yard TD pass to Gladewater receiver Charles Gordon Jr., and the Red squad led 14-10.
On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Aldridge gave the Blue team a 17-14 lead, hauling in an 80-yard pass from Del Barnes of Henderson, who led his team to the Class 3A Division I state championship last fall, ending Paris’ postseason along the way.
“That was one of my better passes. If I played with Aldridge for a season, we would probably get 3,000 yards together,” Barnes said.
Barnes completed 4 of 6 passes for 118 yards, and Aldridge caught four passes for 114 yards.
The Red team outscored the Blue team 10-0 in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
With the Red squad trailing 17-14, defensive MVP Jordan Burton of Longview intercepted a pass from Whitehouse quarterback Hunter Taylor at the Red 41 with 2:39 to play in the third quarter. Burton has signed a letter-of-intent to play college football for Stephen F. Austin.
That set up a touchdown that put the Reds ahead to stay. A 27-yard TD pass from Saenz to Tatum’s Nate Pickett on the first play of the fourth quarter put the Red team back ahead 21-17.
Later in the period, the Red squad drove inside the Blue 10 before Mineola’s Matt Shade kicked a 26-yard field goal for the final margin of 24-17.
The Blue team drove to the Red 21 on its ensuing drive, but Red defensive back Andre Thompson of Quitman intercepted Toler two yards deep in the end zone and ran the ball out to the Red 36, ending the Blue team’s last threat.
Runningback Devontae Haggarty of Tyler John Tyler was the game’s leading rusher, gaining 60 yards in 11 carries. Owens was 7-of-11 for 69 yards in the air, and wide receiver Nelson Onquzu of Chapel Hill caught three passes for 36 yards.
For the Blue team, J’Haston Faggans of Longview carried nine times for 15 yards. Most of the action came on the passing of Barnes and the receptions by Aldridge.
RED 0 7 7 10–24
BLUE 0 10 7 0—17
RED—New Boston’s Garrett Burnett 9 pass from Sulphur Springs’ Justin Owens (7-0) 7:28.
BLUE—FG Hallsville’s Austin Lightie 31 (7-3) 1:13.
BLUE—Whitehouse’s Jonathan Aldridge 12 pass from Kilgore’s Riley Toler (7-10) 0:19.
RED—Gladewater’s Charles Gordon Jr. 6 pass from Paris’ Corban Taylor (14-10) 7:57
BLUE—Whitehouse’s Jonathan Aldridge 80 pass from Henderson’s Del Barnes (14-17) 7:25.
RED—Tatum’s Nate Pickett 27 pass from Chapel Hill’s Avery Saenz (21-17) 11:53.
RED—FG 27 Mineola’s Matt Shade (24-17) 5:14