Last year, the Barton Bears got a ticket to Paris in the opening round of the 2011 Class 3A Arkansas high school football playoffs. This year the Bears' ticket to Paris got punched following an impressive 53-16 thrashing of the Piggott Mohawks in the opening round of the 2012 playoffs.
The Bears hope this year's trip to Paris yields similar results as last year when Barton began its march to the championship game in Little Rock with a 28-8 victory over the Eagles.
Barton literally had a field day last Friday against the Mohawks in which they reeled off 33 points in the opening quarter. The Bears got balanced scoring as they posted eight touchdowns on the night. Corey Anderson and Kedrick Jackson scored a pair of touchdowns each. Anderson's scores came on runs of 12 and 1 yards. Jackson hauled in a 23-yard pass from quarterback Laquarius Hall and later scored on a 19-yard run.
Anderson's younger brother, Cameron, began the Bears' scoring onslaught with a 60-yard run on Barton's first play from scrimmage. Barton's other scores came on a 7-yard run by Hall, a 7-yard run by Chobee Scaife and a 95-yard fumble recovery by Justice Cole on the final play of the contest. Cole also had a pair of interceptions on the night on defense.
Paris enters Friday's clash with Barton fresh off a 39-7 thrashing of the West Fork Tigers in the playoffs opening round. The Eagles are hoping to avenge last season's opening round playoff loss to Barton that dashed their championship hopes early on.
The Eagles are coming off a successful 9-2 campaign in 2011. Their current 9-2 mark is Paris' fourth consecutive winning season with eight or more victories. Paris is 6-1 in 4-3A play with their only loss coming at the hands of eventual conference champion Charleston Tigers.
The team's strength is its recent success. The Eagles built on that success with five returning starters on offense and seven returners on the defensive side of the ball. However, Paris did lose six starters on offense to graduation.
On offense, senior Casey Dishongh (6-1, 190) is an all-4-3A performer at fullback. Jordyn Coronado (5-10, 190) anchors the offensive line as a third-year all-conference lineman. Linebacker Ryan Spencer (5-10, 170) was all-conference last fall as a linebacker.
On paper, the Bears, 10-1, and Eagles 9-2 appear to be evenly matched. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. A Barton victory would pit the Bears against the winner of the Fountain Lake-Rivercrest matchup on Nov. 16.