A Little Bit Short: Sulphur Springs comes up one victory short of qualifying for state 7-on-7 tournament

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

June 18, 2007 - PARIS - After 12 straight wins in 7-on-7 games, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats came up one victory short of qualifying for the state tournament on Saturday.

The Wildcats made it to the semifinal game of the Paris State Qualifying Tournament, played at Noyes Stadium, but fell to eventual champion Killeen, 48-34. The top two teams, which ended up being Killeen and Sherman, qualified for the state tournament in College Station on July 13-14.

The Wildcats had won the first 12 games they played this year, including the championship of the Gilmer tournament and the first four games of the 7-on-7 league they host each Thursday. The Wildcats also won their first three games on Saturday, beating North Lamar, Paris JV and Paris varsity to win Pool A.

The semifinal games match up the Pool A winner (SS) vs. Pool B (Killeen), while the Pool C winner (Sherman) played the second-place team with the most points scored (Pine Tree).

Sulphur Springs will have another chance to qualify for the state tournament by playing in the Tyler SQT on Saturday.

Semifinal

Killeen 48, Wildcats 34

Killeen quarterback Alijuwon White was precise in the first half, hitting 14-of-16 passes and leading the Kangaroos on three scoring drives. Killeen also returned an interception for a TD to take a 28-12 halftime lead.

The Wildcats came back in the second half as quarterback Tyrick Rollison completed 14-of-17 passes for a pair of TDs and defensive back Dalton Abner returned an interception for another touchdown.

But, Killeen scored on a tipped pass and had another TD on fourth down to escape with the win.

Rollison threw for four touchdowns, one each to Jeff Beck and Quinton Long and two to Jace Jackson, who also hauled in two conversion passes.

Brittan Diamond had eight receptions while Thompson had five.

Defensively, Abner had one pass break-up in addition to his interception, and Johnny McSheffery broke up a conversion attempt.

Pool Games

Wildcats 25, Paris 'A' 7

The Wildcat defense held Paris scoreless until the next-to-last possession of the game. By that time, Rollison and his receivers had built up a 25-0 lead.

The Wildcat defense recorded 11 pass break-ups, one each by Darrell Franklin and Jayden Wallace in the end zone, and third-down deflections by Diamond and Rashad Hall.

Offensively, Rollison completed 19-of-33 passes for five touchdowns. Thompson was the team's leading receiver with 11 catches, including the team's first two TDs. Beck and Diamond also caught TDs.

Wildcats 40, Paris 'B' 6

The Wildcats scored the first six times they had the ball as Rollison and McSheffery combined at quarterback to complete 22-of-34 passes.

Daqualin "Boo" Evans caught the team's first TD pass and its final TD pass. The quarterbacks spread the ball around, completing TD passes to Diamond, Jackson, Thompson and Long.

Defensively, Diamond and Dillon Verner had first-half interceptions, and McSheffery and Rollison had second-half picks. Abner and Franklin broke up two passes each.

Wildcats 38, North Lamar 12

Diamond had two interceptions and Josh Dunn returned another interception for a touchdown.

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