Ichabods set to enter hostile territory


Junior running back Giresse Forchu celebrates after one of his two touchdown runs against No. 1 Northwest Missouri on Sept. 11, 2014 at Fred G. Hughes Stadium. The Lions lost the contest by a final of 40-14. Forchu is second in yards (172) and tied for the team lead in rushing touchdowns with three total.

Ian Taylor, Sports Editor

Southern (1-2, 1-2 MIAA) will attempt to reach the .500 mark as the Ichabods of Washburn (1-2, 1-2 MIAA) make their way to Fred G. Hughes Stadium tomorrow for the fourth MIAA contest of the year for both teams.

The game is part of the Hall of Fame weekend for the Lions, but the goal on the field remains the same as they seek to build on recent success.

“You got a lot of upbeat  kids out there running around [on the practice field],” said Head Coach Daryl Daye. “It is great to see that we played in concert together, in all three phases.”

The Ichabods come to Joplin in search of their own victory after a crushing 42-0 defeat at the hands of No. 8 Pittsburg State last week.

During that game, the Ichabods allowed 552 yards of total offense and went 0 for 2 in the red zone, statistics that have the Lions defense itching to get strap the pads on.

“We know in this game we are going to have to stop the run,” said senior Dalvin Taylor. “I’m very excited, I think I can rack up a couple tackles.”

Last week marked the first contest of the season that Southern rekindled the rushing prowess of last season by racking up 374 yards on the ground.

Leading the Lions was junior Giresse Forch, who accounted for 110 yards on 25 carries and added a touchdown on Southern’s opening possession.

Still, the main surprise of the weekend was the play of junior transfer backup quarterback Scott Lathrop, who relieved starter Jay McDowell, who went out early in the second half because of an ankle injury.

When Lathrop entered the game, the Lions held a narrow 7-3 lead.

His efforts had an immediate impact, leading Southern down the field, capping the possession with a 35-yard touchdown pass to junior wide out Anthony Cannon.

“It feels good to go out and help my teammates,” said Lathrop. “I’ve been itching to get out on the field, I miss being out there, but it just feels good to get out there and help the team.”

The second half ran like clockwork for the Lions, as they played sound football across the board before extending their lead to 31-3 at one point.

Defensively, Southern held the Lopers to 4-13 on third down while accumulating four sacks, 12 tackles for loss and only 215 yards of total offense. A performance that garnered some attention from the coaching staff.

“I thought those guys played lights out, they were dominant,” said Daye. “They took it upon themselves to tackle better, which we did … they just played tremendous.”

In addition to the strong defensive showing was an MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week-winning performance from freshman kicker Brock Renken. Renken made 2-3 (35, 39 yards out) while connecting on all four of his extra point attempts.

The Lions will attempt to carry their success from last week into this, as they welcome the Ichabods to Fred G. Hughes Stadium this weekend. Kick off for the Hall of Fame game is at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night.