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Lions blank Fury, 53-0

Cleveland offense gets on track with 351 total yards

The Cleveland Lions (3-0-1) used an improved offensive attack and stingy defense to grab a 53-0 victory over the Flint Fury (0-5). The Lions recorded 351 yards of total offense while the defense pitched a shutout and scored three touchdowns off turnovers.

August 8, 2006
Michael Parris

The Lions opened the game with a nine play drive that resulted in a 36-yard field goal by Dave Talenda. Chip McClain was the workhorse on the opening drive, picking up 46 yards on five carries. The scoring drive would be the only one for either team in the first quarter.

Following an interception by Lions' cornerback Marcus Young early in the second quarter, Chip McClain reeled off a quick 30 yards on back-to-back carries, moving the ball into Flint territory. An 18-yard pass from Jon Hunek to rookie running back Roderick Thomas set up a 2-yard touchdown run by fullback John Brown. Talenda's extra point gave the Lions a 10-0 advantage.

The Cleveland offense got another opportunity late in the second quarter. With 1:12 remaining, the Lions worked their no-huddle offense to perfection. Consecutive 20-yard completions to tight end Mike Parris gave the Lions a goal-to-go situation at the 9-yard line. Following a defensive holding penalty, Hunek hooked up with wideout Melvin Stewart from four yards out to give the Lions a comfortable 17-0 lead.

Unfortunately for the Fury, it wasn't the final tally in the first half for the Lions. Following the kickoff and subsequent return, Flint tried to move quickly downfield through the air. On a third down pass attempt, Cleveland linebacker Melvin King stepped in front of the receiver in the left flat, snared the pass and went 22-yards untouched for the touchdown. The extra point made the score 24-0 heading to the locker rooms and the rout was on.

Flint's first possession of the second half resulted in another turnover. A fumble in the backfield was scooped up by Cleveland linebacker Jon Schmitz, who turned the miscue into a 35-yard touchdown jaunt.

The Fury's ensuing possession was equally unsuccessful. Unfortunately, the series was marred by a serious neck injury to Fury quarterback J.C. Carradine, who was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital. During the 20-minute delay, players on both sides engaged in prayer for their injured comrade.

When play resumed, the Lions again struck paydirt following an 11-play, 82-yard drive. The time consuming drive was capped off by a 28-yard touchdown pitch and catch from Hunek to Thomas, who made a nifty move on a defender before jogging into the endzone.

Cleveland's Marcus Young opened the fourth quarter with his second interception of the game. His 47-yard return moved the ball deep into Flint territory, and backup quarterback Lawrence Vickerstaff finished it off with a 1-yard touchdown run. A fumble on the extra point attempt was scooped up by Cleveland linebacker Kris Eck, who got in the endzone around right end for the 2-point conversion and a 46-0 Cleveland lead.

The final tally of the night was courtesy of rookie strong safety Tim Starks, who picked off an errant pass and streaked 60-yards down the right sideline for the touchdown. The extra point was added for the 53-0 final score.

Cleveland was led on offense by RB Chip McClain, who posted 119 yards on 15 carries. Quarterback Jon Hunek completed 12 of 18 passes for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns. His favorite receiver was Roderick Thomas, who recorded 58 yards and a score. Mike Parris added 51 receiving yards and Melvin Stewart chipped in with 38 yards and a touchdown.

Cornerback Marcus Young led the parade on defense, recording two interceptions and 59 return yards. Kris Eck added 3 tackles, 2.5 TFL, and a sack.

The Lions will again travel to Michigan on Saturday, August 12th. Cleveland will take on MCFL newcomer Western Michigan Force (5-0) who currently sit atop the standings. Gametime will be at 7pm in Wyoming, Michigan.

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