After a mistake-filled first half that featured six combines turnovers, and some ferocious hitting, it appeared the Paris and Salisbury would go into the break tied at 0-0.

After a mistake-filled first half that featured six combines turnovers, and some ferocious hitting, it appeared the Paris and Salisbury would go into the break tied at 0-0.

The Paris defense had just stopped a driving Salisbury offense deep in its own territory at the 22-yard line and with just over a minute left, and almost everyone, including two radio announcers, were convinced Coyotes, who suffered two interceptions and a fumble during the first two quarters, would simply run out the clock and regroup at the break.

But almost everyone did not include Head Coach Gary Crusha and the entire Paris offense. Anyone who left early for the concession stand missed some fast action.

After a long Breck Hancock run and a pass interference call, the Coyotes had the ball at the 48. Then Hancock drilled a pass to Brandon Williams to put the ball at the Salisbury 15. Paris was flagged for a motion penalty. And with a few seconds left, Hancock drilled a pass to Williams near the corner of the goal line and he ran in for the first score of the game to make it 6-0. Then, shocking everyone in the stands, instead of running for a two-point conversion, Crusha sent Hancock out to kick a point-after. Kick good. Paris up 7-0 with under 10 seconds.

Crusha said afterward that the end of the first half was not a time to just fall on the ball.

“We were in a situation where the time was running out in the half, and … if we don’t throw the ball downfield, we are not going to give ourselves any chance to score,” he said. “My thought was to get the ball across the 50-yard line, and then we might be able to take some shots down field to get in scoring position. I always believe anything can happen, but you have to be willing to be aggressive in situations like that.”

Said Hancock of the frenzied scoring drive: “We managed the clock and the exact plays we needed were called.”

That’s when special teams stepped up. Hancock’s kick was easily handled by the Hornets, and with a solid blocking wall, the kick was nearly run back for a touchdown save for a half-ending tackle by Kaison Berrey near the Coyotes 10-yard line.

“Kaison made a game changing tackle,” Crusha said. “If they had scored that might have gave them the momentum going into halftime.”

The Coyotes added a touchdown with a Berrey run in the fourth quarter to take a hard-fought 13-0 win.

After the game, Hancock praised his offensive line, which kept the Horney defense pushed back much of the night.

“They played so well tonight. They got it done,” he said. “Our freshmen, Aiden Forrest and Devin Miller really stepped it up.”

Salisbury played aggressive offense but the Paris defense played well, making several key stops on fourth-down plays, including two in the shadow of the Coyotes end zone.

“Our defense was outstanding,” Crusha said. “We gave up some big plays but we hustled to keep them out of the end zone.”

“We played very well considering we had some freshman starting who have not played varsity football. I think we have the confidence that we can compete with anyone. As a coach, I am proud of the effort we give each snap,” Crusha said. “I would like to day thanks to everyone for coming and supporting us this season. It really does make a difference. Our football team is working hard every day, so win, lose or draw, these boys appreciate the opportunity to represent their high school and community.”

Paris travels to Memphis to play against Scotland County on Friday at 7 p.m.