November 16, 2016 Edition

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Walnut Ridge's Will Weir picks up some yardage for the Bobcats in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday night. The Cats battled to the end, falling to host Paris 36-24 to conclude their season.
TD Photo ~ Ashley George

Cats fall to Paris in playoffs

The Paris Eagles outscored Walnut Ridge 21-0 in the second half to earn a 36-24 victory over the Bobcats in the first round of the 3A state football playoffs Friday night at Paris.

Walnut Ridge jumped out to an early lead on a 35-yard run by Colin Phillips at the 9:17 mark of the first quarter. Will Weir passed to Slade Dalton for the two-point conversion.

The Bobcats added to their lead when Luke Harper scored from three-yards out with 5:49 to play in the period. Weir passed to Cade Burris for the conversion and a 16-0 Bobcat lead.

Paris scored a touchdown late in the quarter, but the Bobcat defense stopped the conversion attempt.

Harper broke free for a 61-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and Weir passed to Dalton for the conversion to extend Walnut Ridge's lead to 24-6 with 11:41 to play before halftime.

Paris kicked a field goal at the 8:59 mark to make the score 24-9. The Eagles scored on a 20-yard touchdown pass with just 26 seconds to play before halftime to cut the Bobcats' lead to 24-15.

The Eagles closed the gap to 24-22 on a 53-yard pass with 10:35 to play in the third quarter. Paris got the ball back following a Bobcat turnover and took the lead on a 60-yard touchdown run. The extra-point gave the Eagles a 29-24 lead with 10:21 to play in the third quarter.

Paris put the game away with a 55-yard touchdown run in the game's final minute.

The loss ended the Bobcats' season with a 7-4 record.

Against Paris, Weir completed 10-of-19 passes, for 186 yards. He also carried the ball 10 times for 48 yards.

Harper led Walnut Ridge in rushing, with 125 yards on 20 carries. Phillips finished with 81 yards on 10 carries. Burris had one carry for four yards, and Wesley Friend had three carries for a yard.

Michael Bounds led the Bobcat receivers with three catches for 44 yards. Friend had two receptions for 82 yards. Burris, Tristan Hoffman, Phillips, Dalton and Harper each had one reception.

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