Paris + Pittsburg Eye 2-0 Starts to District 13-3A When They Meet Friday Night
Paris Wildcats (2-4, 1-0)
Pittsburg Pirates (3-3, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Pirate Stadium, Pittsburg
- Paris: Steven Hohenberger
- Pittsburg: Dickey Meeks
- Paris: won 41-20 at Atlanta
- Pittsburg: won 30-20 at Paris North Lamar
- Paris: vs. Pleasant Grove
- Pittsburg: at Liberty-Eylau
- QB Quez Allen, Soph., 6-1, 190 (50 of 103, 652 yards, 5 TDs, 9 INTs; 98 carries, 442 yards, 3 TDs)
- RB Dren Rollerson, Soph. (59 carries, 281 yards, 4 TDs; 5 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Kenny Mason, Sr. (14 catches, 155 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Kadarrius Scott, Jr. (8 catches, 174 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Josh Reynolds, Sr., 6-4, 200 (43 tackles, 9 for loss, 5.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery)
- DB Tre Barry, Jr. (22 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 3 INTs)
- LB Brickey Reed, Sr., 6-0, 220 (85 tackles, 13 for loss, 2.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 pass break-up)
- LB Jordan Williams, Jr., 6-0, 205 (67 tackles, 17 for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- QB Garrett Truitt, Sr., 6-4, 190 (68 of 125, 891 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs)
- WR/LB SirCharles Perkins, Jr., 5-8, 168 (6 catches, 71 yards, 1 TD; 14 rushes, 94 yards, 1 TD
- DL Tajawin Smith, Sr., 6-1, 265
- WR/CB Jarrion Douglas, Sr., 6-0, 180
- RB Trey Walker, Soph., 5-5, 156
- RB Fre'Zarian Harris, Soph., 5-10, 185 (29 carries, 216 yards, 2 TDs
- WR/DB Markeith Thompson, Sr. (11 catches, 131 yards)
- RB/WR Teriyan Cuba, Jr. (60 carries, 363 yards, 3 TDs; 3 catches, 58 yards)
Just the facts
- Paris and Pittsburg have met just four times and three times since 2006. Paris leads the all-time series, 3-1.
- The Wildcats have only playoff win since capturing the 1988 Class 4A state championship -- last season's 27-19 bi-district defeat of Kaufman.
- Paris made the postseason fives times under coach Allen WIlson from 1983-90. In the 22 years since, the Wildcats have reached the playoffs on five occasions.
- The combined record of Paris' six 2013 opponents -- Mount Pleasant, Denison, Argyle, Sulphur Springs, Melissa and Atlanta -- is 25-11.
- Paris' final four opponents -- Pittsburg, Pleasant Grove, Paris North Lamar and Liberty-Eylau -- are a combined 9-15.
- After reaching the 2009 Class 3A Division II state semifinals, Pittsburg is just 16-20 with no playoff appearances.
- Pittsburg head coach Dickey Meeks has coached at Chapel Hill (1989-95), Pine Tree (1996-99), Mount Vernon (2000-05) and Henderson (2006-12).
- Last season's 2-8 campaign was tied for the worst the finish for Pittsburg since 1993.
- The combined record of Pittsburg's six 2013 opponents -- Wills Point, Gladewater, New Boston, Dallas First Baptist, Palestine and Paris North Lamar -- is 22-17.
- Pittsburg's final four opponents -- Paris, Liberty-Eylau, Pleasant Grove and Atlanta -- are a combined 9-15.
Key matchup: Paris running game vs. Pittsburg defensive front. In last week's win over Atlanta, the sophomore duo of quarterback Quez Allen and running back Dren Rollerson combined to rush for 297 yards and three touchdowns. And keeping that kind of success on the ground should once again be a focus for Paris, which posted an impressive district-opening win despite a brutal 1-4 start to the season. The fact that both Allen and Rollerson are sophomores can work as both an advantage or disadvantage for Paris. The youth breeds naivety, which helps keep them from taking in the bright spotlight of district games on Friday nights. However, it can work against them as young players often don't know how handle adverse situations quite as well as upperclassmen.
If Pittsburg can frustrate Paris' rushing attack and force Allen to pass, the Pirates may be able to turn defense into offense. Allen, who had a nice game last week with 152 yards and three passing touchdowns, has been turnover-prone this season. The young quarterback has thrown nine interceptions and lost three fumbles, so ball security -- like always -- will be a big priority for Paris. Charged with disrupting the running game is a Pittsburg defense, anchored by defensive lineman Tajawin Smith and linebacker SirCharles Perkins.
Don't be surprised if: Paris' dynamic duo of sophomores -- Allen and Rollerson -- continue to take positive steps in their evolution process. With each week, younger players should only get better and those two in particular have improved by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the season. The key for Pittsburg will be forcing a youthful Paris team into mistakes, which can turn into points for quarterback Garrett Truitt and Co. on offense. Like all young players, they'll show flashes of brilliance one minute and make their coaches scratch their heads the next. It's up to Pittsburg to make the Paris mistakes count when the opportunities arise.