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WILDCAT STADIUM, PARIS — Sulphur Springs scored four touchdowns in less than six minutes of the third quarter en route to a 43-9 victory over Paris before a sparse crowd at Wildcat Stadium Friday night. Quickly, a 15-3 Sulphur Springs lead turned into 43-3, and the rout was on.
Quarterback Larry Pryor, who is considered one of the state’s best defensive backs, proved to be more than adequate as a quarterback in just his fourth game behind center. Pryor threw touchdown passes to Dillon Carpenter and Alex Burney and ran for 60 yards on back-to-back plays for another score himself.
Sulphur Springs rolled up 459 yards of total offense, 290 of it by Pryor, who finished with 129 yards passing plus 161 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Paris got its points on Blake Beshirs’ 38-yard field goal and Dren Rollerson‘s 2-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Quez Allen completed 9-of-20 passes for 74 yards and two interceptions and was the Wildcats’ leading rusher with 56 yards in 13 carries and one fumble. Kevin Jackson completed 2-of-8 for 45 yards.
Cordarrius Hill returned a punt 56 yards to the Sulphur Springs 17, but backup quarterback Kevin Jackson threw three incompletions into the end zone, and the visitors took over on downs with 4:08 left in the game.
Sulphur Springs ran out the clock on just five plays and two penalties, using up as much of the clock as it could before each snap and keeping the ball on the ground, twice taking a knee.
Both teams were troubled by penalties. Paris was flagged 13 times for 125 yards, and Sulphur Springs was penalized 17 times fo160 yards, including six offensive holding penalties.
Paris was hindered by two interceptions (one at the Sulphur Springs 10 and the other at the Sulphur Springs 20) and three fumbles — one of them on a live kick they allowed Sulphur Springs to fall on after their first of four third-quarter touchdowns.
One of Sulphur Springs’ touchdowns came on the first play after a low snap on a punt resulted in a 14-yard loss on fourth down at the Paris 31.
After both teams went three-and-out on their first possessions of the second half, Sulphur Springs took over at its own 48 after a 25-yard Paris punt. The visitors went 52 yards in five plays, with Ivery going the last 18 yards.
Then came the first of three straight onside kicks by Sulphur Springs in the third quarter. Paris players just watched as the ball bounced near midfield, and Sulphur Springs picked up the live ball for a first-and-10 at the Paris 40.
Nine plays later, on third-and-goal, Pryor threw a strike to Carpenter in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown for a 29-3 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Sulphur Springs again tried an onside kick. It bounced off the shoulder pads of a Paris player, a free ball, but Paris came up with the ball in the scramble at its 40. But just three plays later, on fourth-and-5 from the Paris 45, Beshirs dropped to a knee while fielding a low snap from center, and he was ruled down at the 31 for a 14-yard loss.
On the next play, Pryor dropped back and threw a perfect spiral to Burney in the end zone for a touchdown that made it 36-3.
Sulphur Springs’ kickoff again was another pooch kick, recovered by Paris, but the home team was whistled for a personal foul that pushed Paris back to its 17.
Allen brought the Paris crowd to life by breaking into the clear. But the ball was knocked away as he was tackled from behind, and Sulphur Springs recovered at the Paris 45.
Two plays and three penalties later, Pryor ran 51 yards for a first down at the Paris 9, then went the rest of the way the next play. The PAT kick made it 43-3.
Paris started the game nicely. After taking over on downs at their own 43, the Wildcats moved to the Sulphur Springs 38 in five plays before Allen’s pass toward the end zone was picked off by Barry Stribling at the Sulphur Springs 10.
After picking up one first down, Sulphur Springs had to punt, leaving Paris with good field position at the Paris 45 in a scoreless game with 4:58 to play in the first quarter.
But on first down, fullback Brickey Reed started in motion and was hit in the leg by the snap from center as he crossed behind the line of scrimmage.
A Sulphur Springs player fell on the ball at the Paris 44, and the visitors needed only five plays to score. Ivery got 37 yards, including the final 13.
Paris took over at its 35 after Joe Wallace ran the kickoff out fromt the 19. Allen hit Hill for 13 yards to the Paris 48, then for 29 more to the Sulphur Springs 23.
The drive stalled, but Beshirs’ kicked a 38-yard field goal that sailed through the uprights with lots of room to spare.
Sulphur Springs 7 8 28 0–43
Paris 3 0 0 6– 9
SS — Willie Ivery 13 run (Ryan Watson kick), 7-0 (3:45)
Paris — FG Blake Beshirs 38, 7-3 (3:45)
SS — Ivery 2 run (Dillon Carpenter pass from Larry Pryor), 15-3 (6:06)
SS — Ivery 18 run (Watson kick), 22-3 (9:53)
SS — Carpenter 14 pass from Pryor (Watson kick), 29-3 (7:03)
SS — Alex Burney 31 pass from Pryor (Watson kick), 36-3 (5:30)
SS — Pryor 9 run (Watson kick), 43-3 (3:57)
Paris — Dren Rollerson 2 run (bobbled snap on PAT kick), 43-9 (7:59)
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra