Bishop McNamara 34, Paris 14
The Irish defense held the Tigers to just 147 yards of total offense and one offensive score and were led on offense by Owen Jackson’s three rushing touchdowns.
Jackson’s first touchdown came from 35 yards out in the first quarter and was followed by a Caleb Smith touchdown to give the Irish an early 14-0 lead.
But the Tigers found themselves back in the game thanks to some sloppy play from the Irish, who had four turnovers, including a pick-six from the Tigers’ Garrett King that tied the game at 14 early in the third quarter.
Once the Tigers tied it, the Irish cleaned up the turnovers and scored the game’s final three touchdowns, two more from Jackson and another from Manny Harris.
“We were never in doubt,” Irish coach Rich Zinanni said. “It was 14-7 at half, they tied us, but then we started scoring whenever we touched it — we scored six touchdowns in the second half, but three of them were called back to penalties.
Harris led the Irish with 127 yards, while Jackson was close behind with 116 and Smith finished with 83. Tyler Hiller went 6-for-13 for 86 yards.
The Irish and their 7-3 record will return home this weekend to take on 9-1 Tolono Unity at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Rich Zinanni Stadium.
“We’ve gotta play better and clean up the penalties and turnovers,” Zinanni said. “But it was a long road trip and (Paris) was a pretty good football team.”
Coal City 49, Chicago Phoenix 0
The Coal City football team quickly ran through Chicago Phoenix Military Academy at home Saturday 49-0 to begin their playoff journey in Class 4A. The Firebirds only managed negative four rushing yards and just 28 passing yards for the game against the fierce Coal City defense.
The Coalers also scored two touchdowns on defense and one on special teams en route to the lopsided opening-round win.
Abram Wills scored the game’s first touchdown on a punt return from 35 yards out a little over two minutes into the game to give the Coalers a quick 6-0 lead.
The special teams made another play when Jacob Jasnosz blocked a punt that resulted in a safety to give the Coalers an 8-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Daniel Jezik ripped off a 22-yard touchdown run to make the score 15-0.
On the Coaler’s next possession, quarterback Payton Hutchings connected with Kade McKinney for a 26-yard touchdown to give Coal City a 22-0 lead with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Jezik added touchdown runs of eight and 15 yards on Coal City’s next two drives to extend the Coalers lead to 36-0 one minute into the second quarter. He finished the game with 50 yards and three touchdowns on just five carries.
Wills and McKinney added touchdowns on interceptions in the next few minutes to give the Coalers a dominant 49-0 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
The Coalers will be back at home Saturday to take on Kewanee at 2 p.m.