Paragould runs past Junior Lions, 20-6
Paragould used a balanced attack to defeat Manila 20-6 in junior high football action Thursday night in the Lion's home opener at Manila.
The two teams battled through a scoreless first quarter. Paragould threatened late in the period, driving inside the Manila 10, but Ram running back Brian Ford coughed up the football and Manila's Tyler Johnson came away with the recovery at the Lion seven yard line.
Manila gave the ball back when quarterback Luis Maldonado's pitch missed its target and Paragould's Logan Wilburn recovered at the Manila 24.
The Rams scored two plays later on a 16-yard dash by Brian Ford, giving Paragould a 6-0 lead with 4:07 left in the half. The two point conversion play failed.
After forcing the Lions to punt, Paragould took over at their own 20 yard line with 1:50 left in the half. The Rams marched 80 yards in six plays, capped off by a 24-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Jacob Sullinger to Ford with 29 seconds left before intermission. Sullinger completed four of four passes on the scoring drive. The two point conversion again failed, leaving Paragould with a 12-0 halftime lead.
Neither team could score in the third period. Paragould drove to the Lion 24 late in the quarter, but Manila's Patrick Tanner picked off a Sullinger pass to stop the Ram scoring threat.
Paragould scored their final touchdown of the night on a 26-yard romp by Hunter Williams with 4:57 left in the game. Gage Hill's two point conversion run upped the Ram lead to 20-0.
Manila avoided the shutout, putting together a 13-play, 65-yard scoring drive in the last 4:57 of the game. Maldonado capped off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run around left end as time expired to put the Lions on the board. The two point play failed, setting the final score at 20-6.
Williams led the Rams in rushing with 10 carries for 95 yards and a score. Hill rushed four times for 55 yards. Ford had three carries for 31 yards and a touchdown. Sullinger completed six of 10 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Hill led all Ram receivers with three catches for 48 yards and a score.
Maldonado paced the Lions with 17 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown. Josh South had 12 carries for 38 yards. Aaron Carter had one carry for 12 yards.