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Warriors take advantage of Eagles

With two starters sidelined before the game even began, the Paris Eagles put up a valiant battle against the Lamar Warriors despite loosing three more starters in the first half of play and being forced to put freshmen in key positions in the second half.

Going into the second half, the Eagles were sitting on a 15–7 lead and scored early in the third quarter to take a 21–7 lead but the Warriors came storming back and by the time the third quarter ended, the Eagles were looking at a 27–21 deficit.

With 1:07 remaining in the game, the Warriors drove home the final nail when Ryan Jones finished off a six play drive with an 11-yard run to give Lamar a 33-21 lead that would give them the second seed in the conference and drop the Eagles to the fifth seed.

Lamar was first to get on the board in the game early in the first quarter. Beginning at their own 25-yard line, the Warriors put together a ten play time consuming drive that ended with a Hunter Sanders 2-yard run into the end zone for a 7-0 lead for the Warriors with 5:15 remaining in the quarter.

Zach Graham helped set up Paris’ first score of the game when he recovered a Lamar fumble at the 13-yard line. Relying mainly on the legs of Kaleb Owens, the Eagles moved to the end zone and Owens finished off the drive on a three-yard carry with 5:30 remaining in the second quarter. Owens also got the ball on the two point attempt and again found his way across the goal line, giving the Eagles an 8–7 lead.

Two minutes later in the quarter, the Eagles began their final drive of the first half at the 43-yard line. During the drive, the Warriors were flagged twice for personal fouls and once for face masking giving the Eagles free yards. With 41.6 seconds left in the quarter, Owens took the ball into the end zone from three yards out to give the Eagles a 15–7 halftime lead.

Paris opened the second half with the ball but it wasn’t until their second possession of the half that they would score. Beginning at the Warrior 47-yard line, the Eagles again relied on Owens to get them to the end zone. David Buchanan connected with Owens for a 34-yard scoring pass with 5:52 to play in the quarter. The two point conversion attempt failed leaving the Eagles with a 21–7 lead.

Lamar decided to make up time by going to an aerial attack in the second half. Beginning at the Eagle 34-yard line, the Warriors cut Paris’ lead only four plays later when Braxton Samply connected with Jones for a 33-yard touchdown pass cutting the score to 21–13.

Overcoming a couple penalties the Warriors went from their own 47-yard line to the end zone in 10 plays as Samply again connected with Jones, this time for 20-yards and then Logan Yarbrough bulled his way into the end zone for the two point conversion and a 21–21 tie.

Lamar got the ball with only 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter and took advantage of inexperience coverage by the Eagles as Samply connected with Seth Campbell for a 45-yard scoring pass. Once again the two point conversion attempt failed but the Warriors were in the lead with a score of 27–21.

Late in the fourth quarter the Warriors took advantage of prime field position to generate the final scoring drive of the game. Beginning at the Eagle 42-yard line, the Warriors orchestrated a five play drive in which Jones picked up 23-yards on two plays to give the Warriors a 33-21 lead with 1:07 remaining in the game.

Despite the loss, the Eagles will be playing in the state playoffs beginning this Friday. Finishing in fifth place in the conference, the Eagles will take the long trip to Smackover for the first round of the playoffs.

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