Paris dominates Flora 35-6
The Paris Tigers took a major step last night toward punching their ticket to the IHSA playoffs by defeating the Flora Wolves at Tiger Stadium by the score of 35-6.
With the victory, the Tigers are now 5-2 (4-2 in the Little Illini Conference) while Flora falls to 3-4 overall, and 3-4 in the LIC. The fifth win officially qualifies Paris for the IHSA playoffs, but a lot else must happen if the Tigers do not get to win number six.
Paris was on a mission Friday night from the first drive, and the players had a short field to work with following a poor punt by the Flora kicker.
Angus Beabout carried the ball three consecutive times and gained 17 yards, and Brody Spencer covered the final 27 yards for the first score of the night. Jacob Wesley split the uprights on the extra point, and Paris led 7-0 at just 4:26 into the game.
The Tiger defense held the Wolves to a second consecutive three-and-out, and took possession at the Paris 43-yard line.
Beabout and Spencer were the only Tigers to touch the football once again, but this time it was Beabout plunging in from one yard out to give Paris a 13-0 lead at the 2:17 mark of the first quarter.
Wesley booted the ensuing kickoff inside the 10-yard line. Flora failed to get out of the shadow of their own end zone and was forced to punt.
Following a poor punt, Paris took over at the Flora 26-yard line. Seven plays later, Kayin Lawson scored from two yards out and also caught the two-point conversion pass from Spencer, and the Tigers led 21-0.
Flora finally crossed mid-field on the next possession, but turned the ball over on downs at the Paris 35-yard line and 4:12 left in the half. The Tigers mounted their longest drive of the game- a 14-play drive- that ended with a four-yard pass from Spencer to Lawson with no time left on the clock. Wesley’s extra point was good, and the Tigers headed to the locker room with a commanding 28-0 lead.
Neither team mounted any sort of a scoring threat in the third quarter and for most of the fourth.
Paris did find the end zone one last time, as Cooper Block ran in from three yards out to give the Tigers a 35-0 lead with 3:14 left in the game. Flora scored their lone touchdown of the evening after coach Jeremy Clodfelder pulled his starters on the final drive.
Paris once again relied on the ground attack, and rushed for 260 yards on the night. Beabout was the workhorse for the Tigers as he carried the ball 24 times for 140 yards and a touchdown. Spencer was once again effective running the read-option, and gained 55 yards on 10 carries to go along with his 21-yard touchdown run. Lawson carried four times for 21 yards and a score, Coy Landrum had five carries for 20, Hadon Board gained 13 yards on his only carry, and Block picked up 11 yards on three carries and scored the final touchdown.
Spencer also completed nine-of-13 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Lawson grabbed five of those passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. Cody Myles caught one pass for 13, Beabout hauled in two passes for 12 and Block had a catch for five yards.
Clodfelder was extremely excited about the way the Tigers handled things last night.
“We came out of the gates on fire tonight, and we were ready from the get-go. Huge fifth win, it was awesome. That’s why we go down and dance with the band after a win, and I told the guys that it’s been two games in a row since we’ve been able to do that,” Clodfelder saud,
He praisef the band and the environment it creates on Friday nights.
“Dr. Pruiett and Jessica (Hendrickson) create such a fun atmosphere, and they do a tremendous job of putting on a great show,” he said.
Turning back to the week leading up to last night, Clodfelder went on to say, “The word in the locker room all week was let’s get eligible. Now, that doesn’t guarantee anything, but we are in a position to take care of business.”
Paris has the opportunity to become the first team in school history to clinch a playoff berth, not just get in based on points, since the IHSA adopted the latest format. They will attempt to do just that Friday night as they travel to Robinson to face the Maroons.