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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Eagles Travel to Johnson County Westside on Friday Seeking to Go 2-0 on the Season

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

After a “zero week” win at Lavaca last Friday, the Paris Eagles will once again go on the road this Friday in week one of the high school football season. Paris will travel to Johnson County Westside for a return match with the Rebels. The Eagles defeated Westside decisively in Paris a year ago, and Jeff Weaver’s Eagles hope to do the same again in 2021.

Resident Press File Photo / Jim Best

The Eagles played a Lavaca team a week ago that had been hit hard by COVID protocol, and Paris was able to take advantage with a strong performance in all three phases of the game. Most notably, the defensive line dominated the Arrows and allowed very little total offense until midway through the third quarter when the “mercy rule” took effect and the Eagles began mass substitutions. In fact, the Lavaca offense was held for negative total yardage in its first three possessions of the game.

Offensively, Paris continued to show its quick strike capability on both the ground and in the air. Senior quarterback Chase Watts was in full control of the offense and made one good decision after another, hitting receivers with passes on key downs as well as in the end zone. The Paris rushing attack has become a “three-headed” monster with not only the spectacular Duke Walker, but the new depth at the position in senior Nate Henderson and junior Mason Bradley. The three running backs have been extremely productive behind an offensive line that had question marks going into this season, but so far in the young season, have performed well.

Resident Press File Photo / Jim Best

Johnson County Westside is a Class 2A program and has struggled in recent years. But one thing this senior Eagles team knows is that every opponent must be respected. When I asked Coach Weaver for his thoughts on the Rebels, he remarked, “Looking at JC Westside’s scrimmage versus Dover, they look to have decent size up front and a good offensive scheme which they run well. Our defense will be tested this week. We need to clean up some mistakes and play a much cleaner game this week.”

After last year’s route at Paris, Westside will be motivated to play a much more competitive game in front of their home fans this week. Paris will want to make sure they win the game first, and if they can, be able to once again mass substitute in the second half to protect their starters for next week’s tough home opener versus West Fork. The non-conference season is a chance to develop depth that could be needed later in the season in case of injuries, and was a key a year ago in the season-long success the Eagles enjoyed. Paris was able to remain healthy for much of the season for the tough late-season conference games on their schedule. This year, this will once again be a significant factor in the Eagles’ chances to return to the state playoffs as a high seed.

Resident Press File Photo / Jim Best

Resident Press will be at Westside on Friday night to bring you coverage of the Eagles match-up with the Rebels. Watch for a recap of the game in Saturday morning’s online edition of Resident Press. Photos from the game will be posted on Facebook at Paris Eagles Sports on Sunday evening.

By the way…hats off to the Paris fan base for a tremendous turn-out last week at Lavaca. I hope to see all of you again this week at Westside!

See you at the stadium!

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