By Larry Goffinet
Sports Editor Emeritus, Perry County News
FERDINAND – Tell City held Forest Park to 10 net yards rushing as the Marksmen’s defense registered its third consecutive shutout in beating the Rangers 25-0 in PAC football Friday.
The Marksmen’s 3-0 season start is their best in 28 years, since the 1992 team went undefeated until the semistate.
Forest Park’s defense matched Tell City’s zeroes early. But the Marksmen, with a deep stable of runners and a strong offensive line, eventually wore the Rangers down.
Forest Park advanced to the Tell City 33-yard line early in the second quarter but then fumbled.
Hunter Beckort recovered the fumble for Tell City, ending Forest Park’s closest scoring threat of the night.
Two possessions later Tell City junior Keaton Lloyd scored the game’s first touchdown on an 11-yard run to the left side.
That capped a seven-play drive on which six different Marksman backs carried the ball.
Beckort’s extra-point kick gave the Marksmen a 7-0 lead with 3:54 left in the first half.
Neither team threatened again until Tell City put together a 61-yard touchdown drive on its first possession of the third quarter.
Quarterback Aden Dodson capped it with a 1-yard quarterback sneak for the score.
After Forest Park shanked an 11-yard punt late in the third quarter, Tell City started a 42-yard touchdown drive that was capped by another 1-yard quarterback sneak by Dodson.
Alec Stahly sacked Forest Park quarterback Cooper Uebelhor at his own 12-yard line midway through the fourth quarter.
That led to a 30-yard Ranger punt two plays later.
Again the Marksmen took advantage of the short field, covering 42 yards on five running plays by five different runners.
Lloyd finished that drive with a 16-yard run to put the Marksmen up 25-0 with 5:52 left in the game.
Bren Miller led Tell City’s balanced running attack with 80 yards on 15 carries.
Lloyd added 70 yards on seven carries and Dodson gained 40 yards on 10 carries.
Eight rushers had double-figure yardage as the Marksmen gained 290 yards on 54 carries.
“When we put the ball in their hands we have faith in them and expect them to make plays for us,” said Tell City Coach Mac Webb.
The Rangers could not get their running game started against Tell City’s swarming defense.
Jake Begle, the Rangers’ 6-foot-1, 215-pound fullback, was held to 14 yards on 10 carries.
Stahly and Nigel Kaiser each tackled him for a loss and he was gang-tackled for another loss.
The rest of the Ranger runners finished with negative yardage. Stahly and Dylan Mathena each sacked the quarterback once.
Forest Park completed some screen passes early but was only 5 of 13 for 40 yards passing overall as it suffered its first loss of the season.
Tell City’s strong coverage and tackling on special teams also helped prevent the Rangers from getting anything going.
“We put an emphasis on it,” said Webb. “Anything we think other teams overlook we put an emphasis on.”
Webb was proud of the way his team battled through “adversity” early, including losing a fumble at the Forest Park 15.
“That’s a really good offensive and defensive line they have,” he said. “It might be one of the best we’ll play against all year.”
He was pleased with his own team’s line play also. “We go as our front guys go,” he said.
Tell City, 2-0 in the PAC, will host North Posey for another conference game Friday at 7 p.m.