Paris powers past Melissa 54-49; punches ticket to rematch vs Argyle in Regional Final
In their Regional Semifinal contest on Friday night in Commerce, one local team was ready for a long-awaited showdown against its district foe in the Melissa Cardinals. The Paris Wildcats started the game fast and never looked back by building a 27-7 first-quarter lead. Although Melissa racked up 14 unanswered points in the second quarter, the Wildcats did more than enough to hold off the Cardinals down the stretch en route to a 54-49 victory at Texas A&M-Commerce’s Memorial Stadium.
Paris held a 27-21 advantage at the break, but Melissa did not go down easily. The Cardinals scored on their opening drive to briefly take their only lead of the game at 28-27, but Paris responded with long touchdown runs from GiTaeus Young and Zy’kius Jackson to reclaim a 41-28 lead. From there, the teams traded scores the rest of the way until Paris emerged with the five-point win.
During the victory, the Wildcats amassed 585 yards of total offense. Impressively, 493 of the 585 offensive yards came on the ground, which means more than 84 percent of Paris’ offensive yards were produced on the ground.
Jackson led the charge with 14 carries for 153 yards and 1 touchdown. Jackson also collected a 20-yard reception. His highlight-reel play came at the 7:07 mark of the third quarter when he scored on an 89-yard touchdown run. Junior quarterback Luke Hohenberger shined on the air and on the ground with 120 total yards of offense and 4 touchdowns. Young was instrumental to the win with 127 total yards of offense and 2 touchdowns as was senior K.D. Washington, who posted 162 total yards and 2 touchdowns. Lyric Tredwell and Johquan Caldwell combined for 95 rushing yards and a score.
Now, Paris faces another team who is not a stranger to the program. After taking down No. 7 Waco La Vega 28-14 in their own Regional Semifinal game, the top-ranked Argyle Eagles await the Wildcats in the Regional Final. In its first State Quarterfinal appearance since their State Championship season in 1988, the “Silver Crush” will face Argyle at 6 p.m. Saturday at McKinney ISD Stadium. Game tickets can be purchased online for $8 apiece. For more sports coverage, click here.