Hot Paris Offense Collides with Stingy Kilgore Defense in Forney on Friday
Class 3A Division I Region II
Kilgore Bulldogs (9-1)
Paris Wildcats (8-3)
6 p.m. Friday
City Bank Stadium, Forney
Kilgore: Mike Wood
Paris: Barry Bowman
Kilgore: def. Athens, 42-7
Paris: def. Kaufman, 27-19
Next week: Winner plays Gainesville (11-0) or Princeton (10-1) in the 3A Divison I Region II final.
- MLB A.J. Davis, Sr., 6-0, 220 (123 tackles, 10 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles)
- DT LaDarrin Anthony, Jr., 6-0, 230 (81 tackles, 19 for loss, 8.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 1 punt block)
- WR/CB Benny Colbert, Jr., 5-10, 175 (7 catches, 104 yards; 40 tackles, 3 for loss, 4 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 2 kick blocks)
- QB Cooper Coldiron, Sr., 5-11, 170 (54 of 101, 1,093 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs; 5 rush TDs)
- RB Austin Jordan, Sr. (98 carries, 715 yards, 6 TDs)
- RB JuJu Brown, Jr. (121 carries, 559 yards, 9 TDs)
- WR Aaron Foy, Jr. (16 catches, 383 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR/CB Q Brewster, Jr. (8 catches, 143 yards; 25 tackles, 4 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 1 kick block)
- OLB Jake Brantley, Jr., 5-10, 185 (87 tackles, 7 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- DE D.Q. Scott, Jr., 5-11, 225 (39 tackles, 9 for loss, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- ATH Keandre Robinson, Sr., 5-9, 175
- QB Dakota Smith, Sr., 5-10, 175
- RB Quay Scott, Sr., 5-10, 215
- WR Kenny Mason, Jr., 5-6, 165
- WR Kadarius Scott, Soph., 6-1, 170
- WR Quay Henderson, Sr., 6-0, 180
- DE/LB Sed Ellis, Sr., 6-2, 190 (committed to North Texas)
- DE Corwin Cary, Sr., 5-11, 190
- DB Zay King, Jr., 5-9, 175
- OL D'Tavius Harmon, Jr., 6-2, 270
Just the facts
- Kilgore averages 30.8 points per game and allows
- Paris averages 29.9 points per game and allows 21.8.
- Kilgore has not allowed more than 20 points in a game.
- Kilgore has held 7 of 10 opponents to eight points or fewer.
- Paris has won seven consecutive games and averaged 36.7 points during that streak.
- Paris has scored 41.6 points per game in its last five contests.
- Last week's 35-point win against Athens was the sixth game Kilgore has won by at least four touchdowns.
- The three teams that beat Paris are a combined 26-7 (Mount Pleasant, Argyle, Sulphur Springs).
- Last week's eight-point win against Kaufman was Paris' first playoff win since 1988, when the Wildcats won a 4A state championship.
Key matchup: Paris' skill players vs. Kilgore's back seven. Paris will spread the field trying to get the ball to its bevy of playmakers, such as Keandre Robinson, Quay Scott, Kadarius Scott, and Kenny Mason. But Kilgore is as well-equipped to defend an offense as athletic as Paris as anyone in Class 3A. Kilgore's defensive has smothered almost all of its opponents, allowing only three to reach double figures. The perimeter matchups involving the aforementioned Paris playmakers and Kilgore defensive backs Benny Colbert, Q Brewster, Hector Peralez, and others will be the the ones to watch Friday in Forney. Nobody has been able to exploit those matchups against Kilgore all season, even Gilmer, which was held more than 100 yards under its average by the staunch Bulldog defense despite winning, 20-14. One thing to remember about Kilgore's ability to defend other teams' best athletes is the Bulldogs' ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks. When they have less time to throw and less room to do it, the better those already-great defensive backs look. LaDarrin Anthony, D.Q. Scott, and company deserve some credit, indirectly, for Kilgore's ability to lock down other teams' skill players.
Don't be surprised if: Paris plays Kilgore much more competitively than Athens, but can't win in the trenches on either side of the ball and is worn down by the fourth quarter. Kilgore has already seen similar perimeter athletes as Paris' in Gilmer, Henderson, and Chapel Hill, and at least two of those teams are probably better than the Wildcats' on both lines. That's where Kilgore wins games. The Bulldogs haven't been eye-opening offensively, but Clay Wiley and the rest of the offensive line have played well enough to control tempo and dictate the pace. Combine smart offensive ball control with statistically the best defense in East Texas, and you've got a team that's going to be hard to beat. That's the challenge Paris and second-year coach Barry Bowman face Friday. Bowman is no stranger to big games, having led Daingerfield to three consecutive state championships from 2008-10. But neither is Mike Wood, who led Kilgore to the 4A Division II Region II championship a year ago. While this ought to be a better test for Kilgore in its quest for a second state championship, Paris is still the clear underdog and will need some breaks to upset the Bulldogs.