TEXARKANA, Texas — It came down to the team that made the big plays down the stretch.
Pleasant Grove defeated Paris, 22-16, in a football game Friday at Hawk Stadium.
"It turned out the way I thought it would," Hawk head coach Josh Gibson said. "Paris is good enough to win a state title in the division above us. They are good, and it was a war. They tied it up, and we had to answer. We went down and scored. We had to stop them on defense, and we got two big stops."
Pleasant Grove's Landon Jackson sacked Paris quarterback Luke Hohenberger for an 11-yard loss late in the fourth quarter with the Hawks clinging to a 22-16 lead.
Jackson applied pressure on the next play and forced Hohenberger into an intentional grounding with 1:10 left to play. Jackson's dominance forced Paris into a 4th-and-32.
"Landon's speed and relentlessness was awesome," Gibson said. "Everyone on defense rallied around him, and it was a whole defensive effort. We had a lot of hats on the ball at the end. To hold a team like Paris to two touchdowns is a big-time performance for our defense."
The Hawks racked up 354 yards of rushing on 55 total carries. Bruce Garrett led the rushing attack with 128 yards on 20 carries and a pair of touchdowns.
Pleasant Grove quarterback Ben Harmon finished with 113 yards of rushing on 15 carries and a TD.
Pleasant Grove drove down the field and set up on the Wildcat's 4-yard line after a 15-yard face mask penalty.
Bruce Garrett scored the 4-yard touchdown to put the Hawks up 22-16 with 3:32 left in the game. The extra point went wide.
The Wildcats tried a run and were stopped well short of the first down as the Hawks sealed the win.
Paris full back Zy'kius Jackson broke free on a third down and sprinted 57 yards for a touchdown on the opening possession of the third quarter. The score cut into Pleasant Grove's lead, 16-13, with 9:02 left.
The Hawks were driving until Jameon Mitchell made an interception and brought it up to PG's 20-yard line.
Bryan Ramirez legged in a 38-yard field goal for the Wildcats to knot the game at 16-all with 3:30 left in the third.
Pleasant Grove was driving at the start of the fourth, but a chop block penalty cost the Hawks 15 yards; PG had to punt.
The Hawks won the toss and received the ball.
Harmon broke some tackles and dove into the end zone from 23 yards out for Pleasant Grove's first score with 8:22 left in the first.
Paris struck back quickly when KD Washington swept to the left and took it 60 yards to the house to make it 7-6 in the first. The kick was wide right, and the Hawks kept the lead.
Anthony Mejia hit a 30-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give Pleasant Grove a 10-6 lead.
Jackson sacked Hohenberger for a 7-yard loss on third down. The play forced the Wildcats to punt.
Pleasant Grove capitalized on the next possession when Bruce Garrett found paydirt from the 4-yard line for the touchdown. The snap on the extra point was bobbled, and the Hawks settled for a 16-6 lead.
On the ensuing Wildcat possession, PG's Nick Martin put a powerful lick on the Paris running back to force a fumble. The Hawks took over on their 29-yard line.
Pleasant Grove tackled the punter after a bobbled snap and took over on the Wildcats' 29-yard line with 1:01 left until halftime.
Mejia attempted a 42-yard field goal just before the half, but it traveled wide left.
Harmon finished the first half with 75 yards rushing on eight carries, while Garrett amassed 73 yards on 12 totes.
Pleasant Grove had 17 first downs, while the Wildcats had eight.
Paris was led by Zy'kius Jackson's 116 yards on 12 totes and a touchdown.