Junior Rams Bull way past Lions, 29-8
Paragould scored three second quarter touchdowns to break an 8-8 tie, and went on to defeat the Manila Lions 29-8 in junior high football action Thursday night at Ram Field.
The Rams struck pay dirt first, driving 61 yards on their opening possession, capped off by quarterback Zach Hoggard's 10-yard touchdown scamper at the 4:54 mark of the first period. Paragould was successful on the two point conversion, giving the Rams an early 8-0 advantage.
The Lions marched from their own 34 to the Paragould 37 on their initial drive, highlighted by Logan Hamilton's 10 yard run. But the Ram defense stiffened, holding Manila on downs, and Paragould took over at their own 40. Manila forced a three and out, and on the ensuing punt, D.J. Myers fielded the ball at his own 40, broke three tackles and raced down the left sideline 60 yards into the end zone to pull Manila to within 8-6 with five seconds left in the opening quarter. Lion quarterback Patrick Tanner scored on the two point conversion run to tie the game at 8-8.
The junior Rams quickly answered, with a three play 61-yard drive. Delbert Miller took a handoff on a reverse and galloped 45 yards to put Paragould on top 14-8 with 6:27 left in the half. The two point conversion pass failed.
Paragould kept its momentum by recovering an onside kick at the Lion 43 yard line. After a seven yard run by Trenton Jones, Hoggard rushed for eight and nine yards on successive plays before breaking free on a 29-yard sprint, covering the last two yards by diving into the end zone for the score with 3:52 remaining before intermission. Hoggard's two point conversion run gave the Rams a 22-8 lead.
The Rams got the ball right back, intercepting Tanner at the Lion 44 yard line. Miller found the end zone for the second time in the game, rambling 44 yards for the touchdown with 2:06 left in the half. Kyle Peters added the point after and the Rams had a 29-8 lead.
Neither team could find the end zone in the second half, although the Lions were able to move the football at times behind Tyler Johnson's bruising runs up the middle.
The Lions finished the night with 23 rushes for 74 yards and had 80 yards of total offense. Johnson led Manila with 10 carries for 33 yards while Hamilton rushed four times for 31 yards. Tanner had five carries for 25 yards and finished one for six through the air for six yards but had two passes picked off.
Miller led the Rams with 107 yards on only three carries with two touchdowns. Hoggard rushed seven times for 73 yards and a pair of scores while Jones carried six times for 42 yards. Paragould finished with 233 yards on the ground and 256 yards total offense.
The junior Lions will return to action Thursday night when they play host to Piggott in the 3A-3 conference opener. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.