But without a reliable field-goal kicker, M.L. King ran four plays, going backward to the 13 and got no points out of the great field position. That was the last of three Tucker turnovers, and the Lions didn’t score on any of them.
On the other side, Tucker forced four M.L. King turnovers — all Rivers interceptions, and all in the first half — and turned those into 14 points that could have proven the difference in the fourth quarter.
For Tucker, Shelley’s big night overshadowed a very efficient, impressive night for quarterback Joseph Farrar.
He had only four completions, but three of them were touchdown passes, covering 43, 27 and 22 yards, and he had a number of savvy run plays to post a game-high 124 rushing yards and another score.
His counterpart was almost the exact opposite, throwing the ball 50 times to Farrar’s 9, while throwing four touchdowns but matching that with four interceptions. He finished 22 for 50 for 444 yards, but he also finished with only 6 rushing yards and was harassed by a relentless Tucker pass rush.
Rivers usually did well when he had time to stand in the pocket and throw, but the almost complete lack of a running game — M.L. King finished with 7 rushing yards — allowed a fast, talented Tucker defense to key on the pass.
Rivers completed passes to 10 receivers and had five completions of more than 40 yards. Shumake led all receivers with 156 yards and a touchdown on five catches.