Turn out the lights, the party's over.
Yes, the high school football lights have been turned off on Phillips County's last remaining team standing after round 2 of the Class 3A playoffs. Plagued by turnovers and a play call that left the fans scratching their heads, the Barton Bears season ended with a resounded thud at the hands of the Paris Eagles, 37-23.
The game was not nearly as close as the score might indicate.
Barton came out the gate like gangbusters, taking the opening drive 75 yards in 11 plays in 4:37. Quarterback Laquarius Hall culminated the drive with a 1 –yard quarterback sneak. Justin Wilson tacked on the extra point and just like that Barton was up 7-0 with 7:23 to play in the opening quarter.
Hall would have a hand in all 23 of the Bears' points.
Paris went three and out on its first possession and punted the ball right back to the Bears. Pinned deep in their own territory at the nine, the Bears managed to push the ball out to the 15 when the floodgates opened on a series of Barton turnovers. One play later, the Eagles were on the scoreboard on a 15-yard run. The tying score came with 4:19 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles dominated the next quarter and a half, rolling off 23 unanswered points. Paris next score was the only one of the night that came without the aid of a Bartonturnover. Following a Barton punt, the Eagles engineered a 56-yard scoring drive that ended with a 2-yard scoring run at the 11:54 mark of the second quarter. The extra point failed and Paris led 13-7.
Barton was on the move again when they coughed up the football at the Paris 10. The Eagles eventually drilled home a 32-yard field go to go up 16-7 with 3:23 left in the half.
The Bears got good field position following the Eagle kick off on a return by Justice Cole to the Bear 43. Barton fumbled the ball away again on their next touch. At this point, Paris was ready to go for the jugular as they moved the ball almost at will against a weary Bear defense that had spent way too much time on the field.
A sustained 40-yard Paris drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown run and extra point with 23 seconds remaining in the half. The Eagles led 23-7 at the half.
Needing to get something going, the Bears attempted an onside kick to start the second half. The ball failed to travel the required 10 yards and Paris got the ball in excellent field position on Barton's side of the 50.
In no particular hurry, the Eagles methodically marched the ball to the Barton 16 before they ran out of gas. The Bears dodged a bullet when the Eagles narrowly missed a 33-yard field goal.
Page 2 of 2 - The Bears put together their second sustained drive of the night. Aided by a major horse collar tackle by the Eagles and a long run by Cameron Anderson, the Bears scored on a 1-yard run by Hall with 3:23 to play in the third quarter. Hall ran in the 2-point conversion to close the gap to 23-15, making it a one-possession game.
Following a delay as the result of an injury to running back, Kedrick Jackson, the Bears got the ball back deep in their territory with just over 2 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Unable to move the ball, the Bears rolled the dice by going for it on a fourth and 2 from their own 10. The dice came up “snake eyes” and the Eagles had it at the Bear 10.
One play later, the Eagles were in the end zone again. The successful 2-point conversion put Paris up 31-15, making it a 2-possession game again. The score came with 1:54 to play in the third quarter in what appeared to be the turning point of the contest.
Paris looked as though they were going to turn the game into a runaway when they generated a 60-yard run but Jarrod Chandler forced an Eagle fumble at the Barton 1.
Barton scored with no time remaining in the third quarter when Hall hooked up with Cole for a 55-yard scoring pass. The same combination worked for the 2-point conversion as Barton trimmed the lead to 31-23.
It looked like Barton was going to get another break on a blocked punt at the Paris 28 but a penalty nullified the play.
Paris pushed in the final touchdown of the night on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 5:17 to play.
Barton ends the season at 10-2. Paris advances to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs Friday night against Fountain Lake.