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Paris – Despite the rule changes in which the UIL now allows four teams to enter the playoffs from each district, North Lamar knew how important it was to open up with a win on Friday night against Pittsburg in their District 13-3A opener. Both teams came into the game with a 2-3 record in preseason. The Pirates were also looking for some revenge from last season when North Lamar won on the road to open up district.
North Lamar has always been a team that prides itself on ball control, however it was Pittsburg that kept the ball out of the hands of North Lamar in the second half as they upended the Panthers 30-20. North Lamar enjoyed a 13-9 lead at the break. Pittsburgh kept the ball for almost 19 minutes in the second half as they wore down the Panther’s defense. Included in that 19 minutes was a drive that ate up 6:49 seconds on the game clock.
Trailing 20-16 to North Lamar, the Pirates started the drive at their own three yard line. After a penalty and a few plays that went nowhere, Pittsburg found themselves with a third and 13 from their own one yard line. Garrett Truitt completed a pass to Markeith Thompson for a 14 yard gain and a first down. The Pirates, then, were able to march down the field and eat up the clock.
“We missed some opportunities,” Coach Felty said moments after the loss. “We got them pinned and let them out of a hole.”
The Panthers lone touchdown of the half came on a drive that only ate up 26 seconds on the game clock. Jacob Cowling hit Samaki Walker for a 29 yard touchdown strike at the corner of the end zone. All three of North Lamar’s touchdown’s came via the big play. Along with Walker’s 29 yarder, Keitron Reed added touchdown runs of 29 yards and 86 yards. Reed had a total of 217 yards on the night. The problem was stopping Pittsburg’s offense. The Pirates ran 23 more plays than the Panthers. North Lamar will get back to action this week as they host Liberty Eylau next Friday night at 7:30.