Tigers clobber Lawrenceville 40-6

Paris now 2-0 for the season; Face Red Hill at home Friday

LAWRENCEVILLE — 2-0.

The Paris Tiger football team took care of business in a big way Saturday afternoon, defeating the Lawrenceville Indians 40-6.

With the win, the Tigers’ record improves to a perfect 2-0 on the season and and 2-0 in the LIC. The Indians see their record fall to 0-2(0-2 in LIC).

Hopefully, this will not be the only Saturday game that the Tigers play this season. Most of the IHSA playoff games are played on the weekend, and the Tigers have their sights set on playing on the fourth Saturday in October.

There is a long road ahead of them.

Paris Coach Jeremy Clodfelder was pleased with his squad and their focus on this particular game.

“We hit a bunch of big plays, but we struggled to run the ball,” the second year Paris coach said. “They ran a hodge-podge defense and brought guys from every direction. I’m proud of Brody (Spencer) and the way he stood in there and delivered the ball on time, and let the big guys make the plays.”

With his performance of tossing five touchdowns, Spencer etched his name in the school record book — just one notch above his brother Riley. His five touchdown passes surpassed the four that the elder brother threw in 2012.

As was the case against Casey in their week one game, the Tigers wasted little time in getting into the end zone. Lawrenceville fumbled the ball and Paris took over on the Lawrenceville 31. Two plays later, Brody Spencer hit Kayin Lawson on a 29-yard touchdown pass — just 3:04 into the contest.

The Paris defense flexed its muscles for the second straight week as they held Lawrenceville to consecutive three-and-outs on their first two possessions. The Indians were forced to punt from their own 32-yard line. Caleb Mullenix fielded the punt at the Tiger 32-yard line, bounced off of the first Lawrenceville player, then ran around the right end and scored to give the Tigers a 13-0 lead with 5:40 left in the first quarter.

Following their third consecutive possession without the benefit of a first down, Lawrenceville punted from its own end zone with the Tigers took over at the Indian 40-yard line. After gaining a first down at the 28, the Tigers were penalized for a personal foul and offensive holding, which backed them up to the 43-yard line. Spencer hit Kayin Lawson with consecutive 22-yard passes, the last reception coming on fourth-and-4, which resulted in the third touchdown of the game for Paris. Following a failed 2-point conversion, the Tigers held a 19-0 lead with 1:28 left in the first period.

Lawrenceville managed to get their first two first downs of the game on their next drive, but were once again forced to punt from midfield. The Tigers began their drive at their own 30-yard line and scored just three plays later on a 41-yard catch-and-run to Josh Willmoth. Angus Beabout plowed his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion to give the Tigers a 27-0 lead.

The Indians sustained their longest drive of the game as they mounted an 11-play drive that started at their own 35. The drive stalled on the Paris 15-yard line after the Tiger defense stiffened, stopping the Indians on fourth-and-1.

Paris could not capitalize on the next possession, but did get the ball back just three plays later, as Nathan Zorn stripped the ball from Lawrenceville quarterback Jesus Cancino with Stevie Kemper recovered at the Indians’ 43-yard line. Three plays later, Spencer found a wide-open Mullenix for his fourth touchdown pass of the half to give the Tigers a 33-0 lead.

To add insult to injury, Paris had possession to begin the second half. Allen Millis returned the kickoff 55 yards to put the Tigers in excellent field position at the Lawrenceville 35. On the first play from scrimmage, Spencer found Cooper Block over the middle and the 6-2 junior scampered into the end zone for Spencer’s fifth TD pass of the game. The extra point from Jacob Wesley split the uprights, giving the Tigers a 40-0 lead, and engaging the continuous clock rule for the second straight week.

Neither team could mount any sort of a scoring threat the remainder of the game, but Lawrenceville did manage to score with 6:40 left in the contest.

The Tiger defense held the Indians to 173 yards of total offense, with 51 of those coming on the final scoring drive of the game. Paris had 355 yards of offense, with 238 of those coming through the air.

Eight different players carried the ball for the Tigers. Spencer led the way with 23 yards on three carries. Sam Mays had 20 yards on two carries, Beabout carried the ball four times for 17, Blake Quinn had 12 yards on five rushes, Coy Landrum picked up 14 yards on a pair of carries and backup quarterback Hunter Newlin carried three times for 12 yards. Lawson gained eight on two carries while Willmoth carried once for four.

On the receiving end, six Tiger players caught at least one pass in the game. Lawson caught four passes for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Mullenix — in addition to his with his punt return for a touchdown — grabbed three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Willmoth also caught three balls for 66 yards and a touchdown. Block had one reception for 36 yards and a TD. Colton Underwood grabbed his lone target for 7 yards.

Friday night will be a big test for the Tigers, as they host the Red Hill Salukis.

Clodfelder is excited about this matchup, but knows that it will be a huge test for his team.

“We’ve got a dandy coming up this week,” Clodfelder said. “We watched them play last night (against Olney), and they are explosive, physical and fast.”

The Tiger coach noted Friday game “will probably be the biggest home football game that Paris has had since they were 4-4 in 2008 and needed a win to qualify for the playoffs. Let’s get Tiger Stadium rockin’ on Friday night.”

Paris Tiger Caleb Mullenix returns a punt return for a 65-yard touchdown Saturday in the Tigers 40-6 win over Lawrenceville.

The Prairie Press

101 Central Avenue Paris, IL 61944