Tigers handle the Lions

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The Paris Tigers dominated the Marshall Lions in front of a packed house at Tiger Stadium Friday evening, and shutting out their Little Illini Conference 34-0.

Paris improves to 5-1 on the season and 4-1 in the Little Illini Conference, while Marshall falls to 2-4 overall, and 2-3 in the LIC.

Paris dominated the game from the opening drive and thwarted every Lion attempt to reach the end zone. Marshall won the coin toss and deferred possession to the second half. As hot as the Tiger offense has been over the past three weeks, this fit perfectly into Coach Jeremy Clodfelder’s game plan.

Picking up right where they left off in last week’s victory game at Macomb, the Tigers forced their rushing attack on the Lions. Starting at their own 30-yard line, Paris ran the ball 10 straight times. Coy Landrum and Danny Perry had nine of those rushes, with the 10th carry being a one-yard score by Landrum. The Tigers Paris did not face a single third down situation on the drive. Ethan Graham split the uprights with his sixth consecutive made extra point attempt to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead at the 8:17 mark of the first quarter.

Marshall began its initial drive deep in their own territory following a deep kickoff by Garrett King. Tailback John Siverly and quarterback Jacob Shaffner took turns carrying the ball as the Lions made their way into Paris territory. Marshall employed a two-quarterback system with Shaffner and Luke Cook calling signals. Cook completed a 10-yard pass to Lance Rees on third-and-12 at midfield. Siverly converted a fourth-and-2 opportunity, but a pair of illegal procedure penalties forced Marshall to punt.

The Tigers took over at their own 31-yard line and embarked on another long scoring drive.

Perry used his arm and his legs on this drive, finding Mason Hutchings on an eight-yard pass and running for another 15 to get the Tigers down to the Lion 35-yard line. The first of five Marshall personal fouls during the game at the end of a 10-yard run by Perry gave the Tigers a first down at the Marshall 13-yard line. Two plays later, Nathan Zorn scored from six-yards out to give Paris a 13-0 lead. Graham split the uprights once again and the Tigers led 14-0 with 11:56 left in the first half.

Marshall began its next drive at their own 30-yard line and used a heavy dose of Siverly to move the football inside the Tiger 10-yard line. On first-and-goal, the Lions were flagged for a false start to back them up five yards. Siverly got the penalty yards back and then some as he rumbled to the six-yard line. The Tiger defense stiffened as Landrum knocked away a pass intended for Rees in the end zone on fourth-and-goal to stop the only serious Lion scoring threat.

Neither team could muster much of a drive over their next possessions, but a huge stop by the Tiger defense shut down the Lions on a fourth-and-4 at their own 36. With just over two minutes left in the half, neither team could gain any traction and the score remained at 14-0 at intermission.

Marshall opened the second half with the ball, but only managed to move to midfield before punting.

Paris once again began with terrible field position starting this scoring drive at their own 14-yard line. It was business as usual for the Tigers on this drive, as they covered 86-yards in 10 plays, and chewed up over five minutes of the game clock. With Landrum and Zorn carrying the ball and a big completion by Perry to Hutchings for 29-yards moved the ball to the Lion 12-yard line. Perry capped this drive off with a six-yard scamper for the score. Graham made the extra point for a 21-0 Paris lead.

Following a three-and-out by the Lions on their next possession, the Tigers hope to salt the game away. With leading rusher Coy Landrum on the sidelines getting a much-deserved rest, Zorn saw the lion’s share of the work. The senior tailback ran the ball four times for 16-yards, but the Tigers could not break any big plays and turned the ball over on downs at midfield.

Once again, Marshall shot themselves in the foot on their next possession as they were whistled for three fouls — including a pair of 15-yarders — to give the Tigers the football right back near midfield.

The Tigers then found the end zone on a drive of less than three plays. This time, it took just one play as Landrum took the handoff from Perry and outran the Lion defense for a 55-yard score stretching the lead to 27-0.

After a short punt by the Lions after just a four-play possession, Zorn pounded his way through the Marshall defense for 19-yards, with an additional 15-yards tacked on for a facemask penalty. Perry then found a wide-open Sam Mays from 14 yards out for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Tigers the final 34-0 margin.

For the third straight week, the Tigers eclipsed the 300-yard rushing mark as they finished with 320 on the ground. Paris held Marshall to 258 yards of total offense. Landrum was once again the workhorse carrying 15 times for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Zorn gained 75 yards on 10 carried and he also found the end zone once. Perry had 12 rushes for 47 yards and a score; Gage Comstock came in on the final drive and gained 19 yards on three carries. Mays carried once for 18 yards and Hutchings added 17 yards on three totes. With their success on the ground, the Tigers attempted just seven passes on the evening. Perry completed four of those for 45 yards and a touchdown. Hutchings had three grabs for 31 yards and Mays caught his only pass for 14 yards and a score.

John Siverly carried the load for Marshall on the ground as he eclipsed the 100-yard mark gaining 109 yards on 19 carries. Luke Cook added 24 yards on four carries, Jacob Shaffner rushed seven times for 22 yards, and Brock Weddle gained five yards on his only touch. Cook completed just 13-of-30 passes for 98 yards, and had one interception. Lance Rees had 10 grabs for 86 yards, Kobe Patton caught one ball for 13, and Shaffner hauled in a pair of passes for no yards. The Lions were penalized 12 times for 125 yards in the game.