Paradise High School had a bomb scare Friday afternoon, and as it turned out, their big “Battle of 114″ matchup with Boyd that evening shared a few characteristics with that event.
No explosion, but it sure made some people nervous.The scrappy Panthers (0-9, 0-5) did not look like a team still seeking their first win, and the Yellowjackets (6-3, 4-1) bore little resemblance to the squad that rolled for 28 first-quarter points against Ponder the week before.
The end result was somewhat expected, but the game was not put away until late in the fourth quarter.
The two teams took part in a punts-and-penalties festival during a frustrating first quarter that ended scoreless. Boyd finally mounted a scoring drive after taking over at their own 41 with about eight minutes left before halftime. After a false start penalty – one of nine flags the Yellowjackets drew on the night – Blake McDonald hit Cole Meador for a quick five-yard pass, then kept the ball and scrambled for 21 and a first down at the Paradise 33.
From there he found Michael Partin wide open on the next play for a 33-yard touchdown strike. Nathan Thomas’ kick made it 7-0 with 7:23 to play.
The Panthers went three-and-out on their next possession, but held the ‘Jackets in check and got the ball back with 1:32 to play. Tanner Valentine kept for three yards, then Jarrett Roper bulldozed for four and Chris Hill rambled for eight for a first down. Hill got another five, then after an incomplete pass Valentine found Roper in a crowd over the middle and he gave the home fans something to cheer about. The big senior reversed his field, fought off tacklers and went 26 yards to the Boyd 15 – but with only five seconds left. After a timeout, a final pass fell incomplete.
Boyd mounted a drive from their own 15 that took up most of the third quarter and yielded five first downs, but produced no points. Fino Cardona had runs of 16, eight and six yards, and McDonald completed passes to Partin for 18, Meador for 11 and Adrian Nelson for 13 along the way. After a touchdown-saving defensive play by Chris Hill, the drive ended when a reverse was fumbled, then booted and the ball went over on downs.
But Paradise never was able to get its offense going in the second half, failing to gain a first down after intermission.
A Dillon Meadows interception ended a promising Boyd drive early in the fourth quarter, and Valentine ripped a pass away from Partin to end the next drive, running the interception back to the midfield stripe with eight minutes to play.
One more broken tackle, and the game would have been tied.
But another punt lit off Boyd’s best drive of the night, an 81-yard, nine-play affair highlighted by keepers of 22, 20 and 14 yards by McDonald and runs of 9, 13 and two yards by Cardona.
Paradise Junior Jarrett Holt punted eight times for 42-yard average, including a 66-yarder on the Panthers’ final possession.
On the Panthers’ next drive, Chris Carmona picked off a Valentine pass and sailed 40 yards for the final touchdown with 2:03 to play.
Boyd, assured of a playoff spot, will face Whitesboro at home Friday to battle for a higher seed. Paradise will try to avoid a winless season as they travel to Ponder.BOYD 21, PARADISE 0
Boyd … 0 … 7 … 0 … 14 … 21
Paradise … 0 … 0 … 0 … 0 … 0
8:07, Boyd: Michael Partin 33 pass from Blake McDonald; Nathan Thomas kick
3:41, Boyd: Fino Cardona 2 run; Thomas kick
2:03, Boyd: Chris Carmona 40 interception return; Thomas kick
BOYD … PARADISE
First Downs … 14 … 3
Rushes-Yards … 31-183 … 25-35
Passing Yards … 75 … 25
Total Yards … 258 … 60
Passes C-A-I … 7-14-2 … 3-11-1
Punts-Avg. … 3-36 … 8-42
Fumbles-Lost … 2-1 … 1-0
Penalties-Yards … 9-75 … 5-20
Rushing: Boyd, Fino Cardona, 18-79; Paradise, Chris Hill, 5-16
Passing: Boyd, Blake McDonald, 7-14-2, 75 yards; Paradise, Tanner Valentine, 3-11-1, 25 yards
Receiving: Boyd, Cole Meador, 4-43; Paradise, Jarrett Roper, 1-26