Forest Park shut out in week three home openerSeptember 4, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
FERDINAND — Forest Park is a team that relies heavily on its ground attack, but it simply couldn’t get its run game going Friday night, and it proved consequential.
The Rangers (2-1, 0-1) were shut out by Pocket Athletic Small School Division rival Tell City in their 2020 home opener.
They had three backs rush for at least 90 yards in the Aug. 28 win at Perry Central, but Friday proved to be a different story.
Forest Park managed to rush for 14 yards Friday night, while allowing 290 rushing yards to Tell City, despite not allowing anything through the air.
“Their line set the tone for the game, no question about it,” Rangers coach Ross Fuhs said of Tell City. “They got off the football on both sides of the ball. Offensively, we missed blocks.
“We had a couple starters out tonight. So, we had some new guys (senior Tanler Schnarr and junior Beau Rasche) in there, and this was a tough game for them to get in there and play.”
Forest Park’s defense made some big plays in the first half when junior Logan Ferguson recovered a Tell City fumble after the Marksmen had been moving the chains with their rushing attack; and fellow junior Chase Verkamp brought down junior Tell City quarterback Aden Dodson on a sack to make it third down with 17 yards to go. The Marksmen ended up turning it over on downs on that drive.
However, Tell City kept pushing it with the carries, and it eventually paid off when junior Keaton Lloyd’s 11-yard touchdown run put Tell City on the board with 3:54 to play in the first half. Lloyd rushed for a game-high 46 yards in the opening half, and senior Bren Miller was not far behind him with 42 yards on the ground.
The difference in ground game only widened by the second half, as the Rangers still couldn’t tread water with its rushing.
Tell City, however, kept on running the ball, and it netted the Marksmen their second touchdown of the night when Dodson’s one-yard keeper extended Forest Park’s deficit to 13-0 after missing the extra point.
Dodson would later add another one-yard score with 10:30 to play in the game, but Tell City’s two point conversion attempt was no good. The Marksmen tacked on one more score for good measure when Lloyd had his second touchdown of the night on a 17-yard run with 5:52 to go, but again, the extra point attempt was no good, bringing the game to its final score.
The Rangers managed 40 yards through the air compared to 14 on the ground. Fuhs felt junior quarteback Cooper Uebelhor had no time to throw the football, despite having men open. The Forest Park coach said the team will focus a lot on film, and the things that need to be blocked. He added communication is important, especially with new players in there, but he felt that communication didn’t always happen.
Forest Park will look to get back in the win column Sept. 11 at Tecumseh.
“We just got to all regroup,” Fuhs said. “We got to get together and hold our heads high, and have a good week of practice, get ready for Tecumseh.”
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