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District 13-3A Crown Up for Grabs As Liberty-Eylau Visits Defending League Champion Paris

Liberty-Eylau’s Tiawa Braxton (10) breaks up a pass intended for Pleasant Grove’s Dylan Silvey during L-E’s 56-7 home win Oct. 11 in Texarkana. (Evan Lewis, ETSN.fm)
District 13-3A

Liberty-Eylau Leopards (6-3, 4-0)

vs.

Paris Wildcats (5-4, 4-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Wildcat Stadium, Paris

 

Coaches
  • Liberty-Eylau: Brian Brown
  • Paris: Steve Hohenberger

 

Last week
  • Liberty-Eylau: won 13-10 vs. Atlanta
  • Paris: won 41-7 at Paris North Lamar

 

Playmakers

Liberty-Eylau

  • WR/S Davion Hall, Sr., 6-2, 191 (committed to Baylor; 17 catches, 396 yards, 3 TDs; 14 carries, 146 yards, 4 TDs; 37 tackles, 2 INTs)
  • QB Javon Rigsby, Sr. (38 of 67, 752 yards, 7 TDs, 3 INTs)
  • WR Keith Wynkoop, Sr., 5-8, 165 (38 catches, 704 yards, 8 TDs)
  • RB D.Q. Steels, Jr. (73 carries, 534 yards, 3 TDs; 1 punt return TD)
  • RB Donelle Hoof, Jr. (67 carries, 554 yards, 6 TDs)
  • RB/LB Ricky Johnson (75 tackles)
  • LB Ricardo Lockett (66 tackles)

 

Paris

  • LB Bricky Reed, Sr. (135 tackles, 22 for loss, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • LB Jordan Williams, Jr. (112 tackles, 28 for loss, 4 1/2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • QB Demonquez Allen, Soph. (80 of 155, 1,145 yards, 9 TDs, 12 INTs; 135 carries, 783 yards, 6 TDs)
  • WR Kenny Mason, Sr. (23 catches, 296 yards, 3 TDs)
  • WR Kadarius Scott, Jr. (12 catches, 240 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Dren Rollerson (92 carries, 502 yards, 8 TDs)

 

Just the facts
  • Paris is 11-10-2 against Liberty-Eylau since 1978.
  • Paris won last year’s meeting 34-7 at Liberty-Eylau.
  • Liberty-Eylau averages 30.0 points per game and allows 20.4.
  • Paris averages 25.1 points per game and yields 25.8.
  • Liberty-Eylau has won five consecutive games since a 28-12 loss to Celina in Royse City on Sept. 27.
  • During that span, L-E has outscored its five opponents 181-72.
  • Paris has won four consecutive games since starting the season 1-4.
  • Paris has outscored its first four District 13-3A opponents 158-40.
  • Liberty-Eylau and Paris’ common opponents are the four teams with which they share District 13-3A: Atlanta, Paris North Lamar, Pittsburg, and Pleasant Grove.
  • Liberty-Eylau is 4-0 against those teams with a cumulative score of
  • Paris is 4-0 against those teams with a cumulative score of 158-40.
  • Both teams have already clinched playoff berths.
  • The winner of Friday’s game will be the No. 1 seed in the Division I bracket from District 13-3A, while the loser will be the No. 2 D-I seed.

 

Key matchup: Liberty-Eylau’s skill players against Paris’ linebackers and defensive backs. There’s no doubt that Liberty-Eylau gains attention with its perimeter athletes thanks to Davion Hall, the highly-pursued, BCS conference-caliber recruit who is committed to Baylor and holds offers from several other big programs, including Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M.

But it’s more than just Hall for the Leopards, who have gotten big performances at different times this season from senior receiver Keith Wynkoop and junior running backs Donelle Hoof and D.Q. Steels, among others. Last week is one prime example. Wynkoop caught five passes for 136 yards — including the game-winning, 11-yard touchdown with 33 seconds remaining to beat Atlanta, 13-10. Steels gained 122 yards on 18 touches.

Javon Rigsby has taken over at quarterback since the season-ending leg injury to Rashaan Donelson a few weeks ago. Atlanta picked off Rigsby three times, but he threw for 310 yards and has kept the Leopards on track in District 13-3A play, as evidenced by their 4-0 mark and opportunity for a league crown.

Liberty-Eylau ATH Davion Hall. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Paris must be prepared to defend Liberty-Eylau in both phases of the Leopards’ offense and keep up with what may be the best collection of skill players in 13-3A. The Wildcats have been up to the task against everyone else in the district, allowing 10.0 points per game during their 4-0 league start. Playmaking linebacker Bricky Reed and Jordan Williams lead the unit and have combined for 50 tackles for loss.

Don’t be surprised if: Friday’s game comes down to the wire. Last year’s lopsided game doesn’t seem to be in the cards again, unless one team suffers untimely turnovers and gives the other easy opportunities. Both teams enter this game on impressive winning streaks in which their defenses have played well.

A district championship is on the line, but there’s no doubt fans of both squads are taking a glance of what may be to come in the postseason. District 13-3A is matched up with 14-3A in the first round, which is a good draw for 13-3A, relatively speaking. Certainly better than 15-3A’s draw of 16-3A, the “District of Doom.”

What that means is the winner will play a team that is 1-2 in 14-3A entering Friday’s action. The loser gets Kaufman (7-3, 4-0), which has already sealed 14-3A’s No. 1 Division I seed. Again, relatively speaking, those aren’t bad first-round draws.

But first things first. Let’s decide the 13-3A championship. As ETSN.fm predicted in the preseason, Liberty-Eylau and Paris play for the 13-3A crown. This should be a good one.

 

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