Paris (6-3-1) led Lamar 21-7 last week and could have finished as high as a No. 2 seed if they had won. But the Eagles had a rash of starters go out with injuries as Lamar rallied for a 33-21 win.
Paris finished in a three-way tie with Lavaca and Atkins. Despite a win against Lavaca and a last-second lost to Atkins, Paris slipped to No. 5 because of the tiebreaker. Atkins received the maximum of 13 points for a forfeit by Cedarville. That results in a long bus ride to Smackover (9-1) for Paris.
"It was unfortunate, but that is the way it goes," Eagles coach Bryan Hutson said. "We didn’t play very well against Atkins and Danville and we got beat in the final seconds and only won by one point against Danville. Then we got so beat up last week, I am not even sure who will play where."
Paris has been surprising people all season despite only two returning starters from last year’s team and will try to pull another upset against the Buckaroos.
"It’s a long bus ride, then we face a very athletic, very good team without several of our starters," Hutson said. "These guys have been surprising people all year and we’ll try to do it again. We’ve got nothing to to lose."