That's entertainment: WIldcats put on show in 48-20 win over Paris
By DON WALLACE, News-Telegram Sports Editor
Aug. 31, 2008 - It was a season opener to remember.
No fans leaving Gerald Prim Stadium could feel like they did not get their money's worth as Sulphur Springs whipped Paris, 48-20.
The season opener for both teams feature scoring passes, runs, kickoffs, fumbles, turnovers and Wildcat in a really hot costume. It was truly something for everyone.
The Wildcats sent the message to other 13-4A teams that they can score points quickly and in bunches. For a first game, coach Greg Owens said he was pleased with the results.
Sulphur Springs rolled up 493 total yards with Tyrik Rollison throwing four touchdown passes. Ryan Young added 13 carries for 158 yards to pace the ground attack.
"We still got a little rust on the shelf a little bit. We're getting better," Owens said. "We got some things that worked. We got after it and took care of business. Both sides had big plays in the kicking game. We got to fix our kickoff. We wanted to work on the running game. Ryan Young had a very good night."
After holding Paris on their first possession, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats put together an impressive 66-yard, seven-play drive. The possession ended when quarterback Rollison throwing a 27-yard scoring pass to Shane McQueen. The extra point by Fernando Arellano gave the hometown Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 6-0 left in the first quarter.
Paris tried to get a drive of their own going and made some headway behind passes by Quin Rollerson and runs by Walter Gunn and Aaron Ethridge. The Sulphur Springs defense held Paris on down when a fourth down pass from Rollerson to Gunn came up short of the needed yardage.
Sulphur Springs fumbled on the next play with Paris' Josh Wallace recovering the loose pigskin at the 35-yard line.
It only took the visitors two plays to get in the end zone. Rollerson threw a 32-yard scoring dart to speedy Dominique Mitchell. The extra point attempt by Harper Hunt failed. Paris had sliced the Sulphur Springs lead to 7-6 with 2:06 left in the opening stanza.
Another Wildcats drive came up short of the goal. But Arellano made the most of the chance and put Sulphur Springs up 10-6 with a 32-yard boot between the uprights for three points.
Sulphur Springs' next possession was hampered by an illegal motion penalty. Then later a holding call wiped out what would have been a Rollison touchdown. Soon Paris had the ball back at their 16-yard line with10:23 remaining in the first half.
The Paris drive could not get rolling as four plays netted just three yards and forced a punt.
The teams traded punts and the next Wildcat possession for Sulphur Springs was at the 34-yard line. Young ran twice for a total of 14 yards. Rollison dashed down to the 15-yard line on a nifty scamper On a second and five play, Rollison threw a scoring pass from 15-yard out to Young for a score. On the play, the senior running back, followed his downfield blocking and raced to the end zone. Arellano's extra point gave Sulphur Springs a 10-point lead, 17-7 with 5:49 left in the first half.
Lightning struck on the ensuring kickoff. Paris fleet-footed Ethridge caught the ball deep, side-stepped the oncoming rush and cut outside running through traffic with the guts of a cat burglar. Ethridge did not stop until the 93-yard play ended in the end zone and a touchdown for the visitors. The two point conversion run failed with Sulphur Springs tacklers Fred Gilstrap and Cody Rushin filling the gap quickly.
Sulphur Springs seemed invigorated by the Paris score which cut the lead to 17-12. The hometown Wildcats put up two more scores in the opening half as they answered the challenge.
Young did the bulk of work on the next Sulphur Springs drive. The seven-play 70-yard drive ended with Young scoring on a 40-yard run. Again the senior speedster used blocking well, then turned on the jet for a score. Jace Jackson ran over for the two point conversion to give Sulphur Springs a 25-12 lead with 4:10 left before the half.
The final first half tally came when Rashad Hall set up a score with a punt return of 35-yards down to the one-yard line. Jake Russell got the touchdown on a one-yard plunge. Austin Brewer kicked the extra point and at intermission the home fans were happy with the Wildcats up 32-12 over Paris.
In the second half, Sulphur Springs out-scored Paris 16-8.
Rollison threw two touchdown passes to Jace Jackson. Arellano booted a field goal.
The only scored in the final half for Paris was a 35-yarder from Rollerson to Tevin Mccleary.
The Sulphur Springs Wildcats took the opening win by a 48-20 final. The 1-0 Wildcats will trek to Whitehouse to face another group of Wildcats.
Coach Owens said, "I'd have to watch the video to see how we did overall. I'd give us a B plus. It was a good to get in a game situation. We can build on this. We have to be ready when we go to Whitehouse next week."
Whitehouse lost their season opener at home 52-35 to Garland Naanan Forest.