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Football: Boyd, Paradise square off with playoff spot on line

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017
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Making the Grab

MAKING THE GRAB – Boyd’s Koby Miller hauls in a pass during the Yellowjackets’ loss to Brock. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

With the fourth and final playoff spot in District 4-3A Division I at stake, Paradise and Boyd will renew the rivalry of Texas 114 neighbors.

A win for the Panthers would secure their first playoff berth since 2008, while a loss would open the door for the Yellowjackets or even Ponder to sneak in.

Paradise is coming off a tough 32-22 loss to Bowie, squandering an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot at home on senior night. Meanwhile, Boyd is still searching for its first district win after getting romped by No. 7 Brock 59-7. The Yellowjackets are currently on a six-game losing streak, and haven’t won a game since mid-September.

Paradise gave up four touchdowns and 193 yards to Bowie quarterback Matt Wallace – all on the ground – in the loss Friday. In stark contrast to last week, the Panthers will now face a quarterback who likes to air it out in Boyd’s Kody Risenhoover, who is averaging 142.7 yards per game passing.

“We’ve played pretty well on the back end,” said Paradise coach Ronnie Gage. “The biggest problem we’ve had defensively is injuries. Hopefully we can hold up another week.”

For Boyd, the key defensively will be shutting down Paradise’s run game. The Panthers don’t throw the ball much, leaning on a heavy ground attack to move the sticks.

Paradise rushed for 250 yards in last week’s loss to Bowie. Sophomore quarterback Jace Essig ended the game with 112 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

“We have to play good, sound defense,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “They run a lot of option stuff, so you have to play assignment football. If you aren’t where you’re supposed to be ,they can exploit you with big plays.”

With Brock, Breckenridge and Bowie having secured their playoff bids out of the district, it now comes down to the final week of the season to determine who will be the fourth and final team to advance.

While Boyd’s chances of making the playoffs are slim, there is still a glimmer of hope. In order for the Yellowjackets to leapfrog into the No. 4 seed, Ponder must lose to Bowie and Boyd must beat Paradise by more than 10 points.

“[Our players] know what’s on the line,” Hopkins said. “Going into the last game not having a district win but still having a chance to get into the playoffs, that doesn’t come around very often.”

Paradise, on the other hand, controls its own destiny, and simply has to win to get in. Although Ponder and Paradise have the same record of 1-3 in district, Paradise holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. Should Ponder win and Paradise lose to Boyd, Ponder would claim the league’s fourth seed.

“Boyd is one of those just like watching Bowie. Their record doesn’t look that well ,but you put the film on and you see they’re a lot better than their record indicates,” Gage said. “It’s going to be a game. It’s going to be a challenge.”

Getting Loose

GETTING LOOSE – Paradise quarterback Jace Essig (left) tries to shake a Bowie defender during the Panthers’ loss Friday. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

BOWIE 32, PARADISE 22

Bowie … 6 … 0 … 12 … 14 … – … 32
Paradise … 0 … 3 … 7 … 12 … – … 22

FIRST QUARTER

Bowie – 9:16, Matt Wallace 3 run, try failed.

SECOND QUARTER

Paradise – 0:00, Jack Ishmael 27 field goal

THIRD QUARTER

Bowie – 8:16, Matt Wallace 5 run, try failed
Paradise – 4:19, Jace Essig 7 run, Jack Ishmael kick.
Bowie – 1:31, Matt Wallace 3 run, try failed

FOURTH QUARTER

Paradise – 11:54, Jace Essig 24 run, try failed
Bowie – 6:54, Matt Wallace 1 run, kick
Bowie – 4:05, Ty Harris 14 run, kick
Paradise – 0:32, Jack Ishmael 3 pass from Jace Essig, try failed

BOWIE … PARADISE

First Downs … 24 … 21
Rushes-Yards … 52-222 … 43-273
Passing Yards … 57 … 41
Total Yards … 279 … 314
Comp-Att-Int … 1-5-1 … 4-11-0
Punts-Average … 2-29 … 3-30
Fumbles-Lost … 2-1 … 4-2
Penalties-Yards … 10-125 … 12-112

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Bowie, Matt Wallace 32-193, Ty Harris 12-93, Dillon Swaim 2-13. Paradise, Reggie Contreras 8-22, Jace Essig 14-112, Jacob Robinson 15-103, Jack Ishmael 3-13.

PASSING: Bowie, Matt Wallace 1-4-1-51. Paradise, Jace Essig 4-11-0-41.

RECEIVING: Bowie, Rylan Dorman 1-51. Paradise, Jack Ishmael 1-3, Reggie Contreras 1-7, Gage Schneck 1-11, Mitchell Sellers 1-16.

BROCK 59, BOYD 7

Boyd … 0 … 0 … 0 … 7 … – … 7
Brock … 14 … 24 … 21 … 0 … – … 59

FIRST QUARTER

Brock – 10:46, Tanner Patino 44 run, Noah Nye kick
Brock – 6:32, Tanner Patino 1 run, Nye kick

SECOND QUARTER

Brock – 11:11, Noah Nye 34 field goal
Brock – 8:48, Tanner Patino 23 run, Nye kick
Brock – 5:41, Logan Lightfoot 9 punt block return, Nye kick
Brock – 1:45, Tanner Patino 4 run, Nye kick

THIRD QUARTER

Brock – 10:37, Tanner Patino 35 run, Nye kick
Brock – 6:33, Tate Swearengin 4 run, Nye kick
Brock – 3:19, Toby Morrison 3 run, Nye kick
Boyd – 11:54, Logan Jones 3 run, Hadden Clanin kick

BOYD … BROCK

First Downs … 6 … 17
Rushes-Yards … 38-102 … 34-352
Passing Yards … 41 … 82
Total Yards … 143 … 434
Comp-Att-Int … 6-16-0 … 5-8-0
Punts-Average … 8-22 … 1-45
Fumbles-Lost … 0-0 … 0-0
Penalties-Yards … 4-25 … 7-65

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Boyd, Boone Eustace 13-40. Brock, Tanner Patino 10-132.

PASSING: Boyd, Kody Risenhoover 6-15-0-41. Brock, Tripp Jones 5-7-0-82.

RECEIVING: Boyd, Logan Jones 1-20. Brock, Tommy Merrill 2-33.

PARADISE (3-6) AT BOYD (2-7)

7 p.m. Friday at Yellowjacket Stadium, Boyd

BOYD HARRIS RATING: 191

BOYD NOTABLE: Boyd has scored just 61 points in district play.

PARADISE HARRIS RATING: 194

PARADISE NOTABLE: Paradise ran for 273 yards last week against Bowie, but fumbled twice.

HARRIS LINE: Paradise by 4

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