Tigers fall to Rockets 44-6

By Jeff Chambers prairiepresssports@gmail.com
Posted 9/19/22

For the first 12 minutes of the Paris High School football game Friday at Tiger Stadium, the Paris Tigers hung with the 2021 IHSA Class 4A state runners-up the Tolono-Unity Rockets.

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Tigers fall to Rockets 44-6

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For the first 12 minutes of the Paris High School football game Friday at Tiger Stadium, the Paris Tigers hung with the 2021 IHSA Class 4A state runners-up the Tolono-Unity Rockets.

Unfortunately, the final 36-minutes of the game belonged to the visiting Rockets as they ran away with a 44-6 win.

With the loss the Tigers fall to 1-3 on the season and 1-1 in the Little Illini Conference. Class 3A Unity, 10th ranked in the latest poll, improved to 3-1 on the year.

The Tigers were able to stay with the Rockets in the first quarter, even threatening to grab the early lead.

Paris faced a first-and-goal at the Unity eight-yard line early in the first quarter. It appeared quarterback Drew Rogers found wideout Tre Lee in the back of the end zone for the score, but the officials ruled the pass incomplete.

To compound the situation, the Tigers were whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, then a holding call backing them up to the Unity 34-yard line. Paris turned the ball over on downs, leading to the first score of the game by the Rockets. That came on the first of three touchdowns from Unity tailback Matt Brown. The Rockets scored 32 points in the second period, then added 12 in the third to result in the running clock in the fourth quarter.

The lone Tiger score came as time expired in the third quarter when Jaiden Quinn scored from four yards out. The extra point was blocked to bring about the final score.

A sophomore and a junior running back shared the workload last night for Coach Jeremy Clodfelder.

Sophomore Mason Byrnes racked up 69-yards on 11 carries while Kalvin Rigdon added 55-yards on nine carries.

Before leaving the game in the second quarter with a lower leg injury, quarterback Brady Crippes had four totes for 38-yards. In addition to his touchdown run, Quinn added 10 yards on a pair of carries. Drawing his first start at quarterback, sophomore Drew Rogers carried four times for -1 yard.

The Tigers had trouble moving the ball through the air all evening long. Rogers completed 7-17 passes for 27-yards and an interception. Crippes completed 1-2 passes for two yards.

Ty King hauled in four passes for five yards with Lee catching one ball for 14 yards. Robert Wells caught two passes for eight yards and Rigdon had one grab for two yards.

“I really felt like our kids came out intense,” Clodfelder said after the game. “We got a takeaway (interception on the opening drive by Crippes) early on and had the ball in good field position.”

Clodfelder said the Tigers missed a couple of open plays, then the incomplete pass and  backed the offense up.

“We can’t get down and then quit doing the things they were taught to do,” he said.

Paris will look to get back on track Saturday, Septe. 24,  as they head to Marshall for a 2 p.m. Little Illini Conference contest at Bush Field.