Tigers claw Bulldogs 34-20
DUGGER -- A gutsy Bulldog football team couldn’t tame the Tigers Saturday afternoon at home.
Paris (IL) jumped out to a 16-0 lead as the Tigers beat Union (0-4) 34-22. Three of the Tigers’ touchdowns came after Union coach Kyle Foli elected to go for it on fourth down deep in Union territory. Foli said he had no regrets about going for it on fourth down.
“They scored out of it,” he said, “but I have confidence in my boys.”
Trailing 16-8 in the second quarter, the Bulldogs forced Paris to punt from the Union 46 after three plays lost one yard. Three carries gained only four yards, and the ‘Dogs went for it on fourth and 6 on the Union 21. Quarterback Jackson Rogers could gain only 2 yards, and Danny Perry penetrated the Union D for 15 yards to set up his 4-yard TD run, making it 22-8 with 3:30 left in the first half.
Union then started operations on its 20. Rogers carried for 10 and Marlow darted for 7, but a holding penalty moved the ball back to the Union 27. A fumble on an option play meant the Bulldogs gained only 4 yards in three plays, and Rogers’ pass fell incomplete. Newlin lofted a 30-yard pass to Mason Hutchings with 16.5 seconds left in the half, and Paris led 28-8
After the ‘Dogs narrowed the gap to 28-14 in the second half, the Tigers started operations on the 50 when they recovered a short kick. Union dropped Colby Kindred for an 8-yard loss and forced the Tigers to punt. The Dawgs started on their 34, but the Tigers sacked Rogers for a 7-yard loss. On fourth and 15 from the 29, Rogers lofted a bomb to Neal Gambill, but he lost the ball in the sun. Two plays later, quarterback Hunter Newlin sprinted to his right’ and outran the Union defenders for a 24-yard TD and a 34-14 lead.
“People may say that I’m not a good coach,” Foli said. “Opinions are opinions. I was trying to help the boys grow.”
Foli also said the Bulldogs hurt themselves with stupid penalties. “I want them to play with emotion, but I told them they have to play with controlled emotion.”
The coach added that some Union players started at new positions Saturday and acquitted themselves well.
“We put guys in positions they never played before and they did well,” Foli said.
The Dawgs began the game well as Brandon Smith gained 4 yards and Bryar Marlow raced for 6 more. However, the hosts bobbled a pitch and Paris recovered on the Union 42. Newlin dashed 22 yards to set up Carter Hay’s 22-yard ramble into the end zone for an 8-0 lead.
Union recovered a squib kick on the Bulldog 40 and picked up two first downs to the Paris 41. The Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs as four plays netted only 6 yards. Newlin galloped another 21 yards and hit Hays with a 12-yard pass to set up Seth Mays 17-yard touchdown run.
Matt Pugh returned the kickoff 22 yards to the Union 42 and then ripped off a 7-yard gain to give Union a first down on the Tiger 43. Rogers dashed 16 yards and Marlow carried twice for 15 to give the dogs a first down on the 13. Jackson for five, Smith for five, and Jacob Cross bulled his way in from 3 to put Union on the board, the ‘Dogs trailing 16-8 after Marlow ran for a two-point conversion.
Paris turned the ball over on downs to begin the second half. Perry replaced Newlin at quarterback and passed 13 yards to Chase Hays to give the visitors a first down on their 30. Two plays netted five yards and two passes fell incomplete, giving Union the ball on the Tiger 35.
Pugh dashed for 16, Smith picked up 8, and Pugh gained another 6 to give Union a first down on the Tiger 5. Two plays later Cross surged in from the 5 for a touchdown and Union trailed 28-14.
After Paris’ final touchdown, the Dawgs started on the 19 and steadily marched to the Paris 10. Rogers hauled it once for 7, twice for 8 and once for 12; a facemask gave the Bulldogs a first down on their 41; Cross negated a holding penalty with runs of 8, 5, and 9 yards; and Pugh raced for 14.
A penalty moved the ball back to the Paris 34, and, on second and goal, Rogers lofted a pass to Smith who beat his man and took it to the house for a 34-yard score with 2:12 remaining the game. The Tigers then ran out the clock.
Marlow and Pugh needed medical attention after the game, but Foli said they should return to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday when Union travels to Rock Creek Academy. The Bulldogs beat Rock Creek 42-28 last year, but Foli predicted a tough battle.
“You can’t underestimate Rock Creek at all,” Foli said. “We’ve got to play our game. We’re going to try to control it.”
Paris 16 12 6 0 -- 34
Union 0 8 6 6 -- 20
P -- Hays 22 run (Sullivan pass from Newlin), 9:46.
P -- Mays 17 run (Newlin run).
U -- Cross 3 run (Marlow run), 11:16.
P -- Perry 4 run (pass failed), 3:30.
P -- Hutchings 30 pass from Newlin (run failed), 0:16.5.
U -- Cross 5 run (run failed), 4:01.
P -- Newlin 24 run (pass failed), 9:53.
U -- Smith 34 pass from Rogers (run failed), 2:12.