Friday night marked the first time in 525 days that the lights were turned on at Tiger Stadium. It didn’t take long for the scoreboard to light up as well as the Paris Tigers defeated the Olney …
Friday night marked the first time in 525 days that the lights were turned on at Tiger Stadium. It didn’t take long for the scoreboard to light up as well as the Paris Tigers defeated the Olney Tigers 45-14.
The victory moves Paris to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the Little Illini Conference. Olney drops their first game of the season to fall to 2-1(2-1 in the LIC).
Fans were allowed to attend last night’s game for the first time all season, and the Tigers did not fail to disappoint. Olney won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, meaning the Tigers would receive the ball to open the game. Starting with the ball at their own 32-yard line, the Tigers mounted an 8-play drive covering 68-yards. The final four yards came from Eli Board as the tailback bulldozed his way into the end zone for the score. Garrett King tacked on the extra point and the Tigers led it 7-0 with 7:36 left in the opening quarter. Paris did not attempt a single pass on this drive.
As was the case for most of the evening, the Paris defensive line spent most of their time in the Olney backfield. Led by Logan Bartley, Ethan Branch, Josh Wood, Connor Crunk, Mason Boatman, and Jude Sullivan, Paris amassed four sacks in the first half alone. Olney failed to gain a first down on their initial possession and were forced to punt from deep in their own territory following a sack by Sullivan. The punter had the ball go off the side of his foot resulting in just a 12-yard punt. Paris began their second drive at the Olney 23-yard line and scored 3-plays later on a 5-yard run by Mason Hutchings. King once again split the uprights and the Tigers led 14-0 with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter.
Olney was finally able to cross midfield on their third possession, but that drive came to an end with an interception by Mason Stuck. Paris took over at their own 27-yard line and once again marched down the field for their third score in the first 14 minutes of the game. Hutchings once again found the end zone, this time from 14-yards away. King booted the ball through the uprights to make it 21-0 with 10:47 left in the second quarter.
Olney finally found the end zone on their next drive as Austin Nuttall connected with Quinn Miller on an
18-yard pass with 9:29 left in the third quarter to draw the Tigers within 14 at 21-7.
Paris drove deep into Olney territory on their next drive, but that drive stalled out at the 23-yard line. Facing a fourth-and-9, coach Jeremy Clodfelder chose to send his field goal unit on for a 30-yard attempt. That kick sailed wide left. Olney could not muster a first down and were forced to punt once again. A great return by King set the Tigers up with a first and 10 at the 35-yard line with just over two minutes remaining in the first half. Four plays later, Board plowed his way in from two yards out to give the Tigers a 28-7 lead heading to the locker room.
Both teams came out of halftime rather stale with neither squad able to mount any sort of offense. The Tigers did manage to drive deep into Olney territory on their second drive of the half, but failed to convert a fourth-and-2 inside the Tiger 10-yard line. On the first play of the drive for Olney, quarterback Austin Nuttall was sacked in his own end zone for a safety. Paris led at that point 30-7.
Paris finally scored their first touchdown of the second half as Danny Perry found Hutchings in the flat at the eight-yard line, and the senior tailback did the rest to make it 37-7. Olney scored on their next possession on a 17-yard pass from Dawson Brown to Levi Eagleson.
Paris would find pay dirt one more time in this one as Board scored from 10-yards out with 3:19 left in the game. The extra point snap was mishandled but bounced into the hands of King who ran towards the right pylon and snuck the ball across for the two-point conversion.
The Tigers gained 338 yards on the ground in this one to go along with 74 yards passing from Perry and Brady Crippes. Leading the ground attack was Board with 105 yards on 15 carries. He also scored three touchdowns on the evening. Perry was right on his heels with 100 yards on 11 carries. Hutchings carried the ball 14 times for 72 yards, Nick Mohler had 22 yards on 3 carries, Bryan Kohlmeyer gained 10 yards on three touches, JT Johnson added four on his only touch, King gained 13 on his only carry, and Ethan Curl picked up six yards on his lone carry.
Perry was seven-of-12 throwing the football for 74 yards and a touchdown. Crippes was one-of-2 for five yards and Ethan Dick’s only pass attempt fell incomplete.
Next week will be a big week in determining who will come away with the LIC crown. Paris alumni Casey Pinnell brings his undefeated Robinson(3-0) team to town to battle the Tigers in a matchup between the two remaining undefeated teams in conference play. Kickoff is set for 7 p,m.