The Mark Twain football team trounced Louisiana in convincing fashion with a 54-34 win at home in its season opener on Saturday.

The Mark Twain football team trounced Louisiana in convincing fashion at home in its season opener on Saturday.

The Tigers posted some monster offensive numbers en route to a 54-34 Eastern Missouri Conference victory that took more than three hours to complete.

Mark Twain (1-0) racked up 510 yards on the ground with two runners combining for 317 yards behind a dominant offensive line.

The biggest news of the night for the Tigers was the emergence of junior Logan Perrigo. Perrigo stepped up after starting running back Jace Barton exited the game with severe cramps.

Up to that point, Barton was closing in on a career night – 159 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, including a 41-yard sprint for a touchdown to open the scoring with 2:31 left in the first quarter.

The second quarter proved to be wild, as Louisiana quarterback Cameron Henderson was able to find holes in the Mark Twain defense. The teams traded a trio of touchdowns in a three-minute span.

With 9:36 left until halftime, Louisiana’s Derek Richards got behind defenders, eluded a defensive back and raced to grab a perfectly-thrown ball from Henderson. He was off to the races for a 61-yard touchdown. With the extra point, Louisiana took its only lead of the night, 7-6.

Two minutes later, Perrigo raced 24 yards for a touchdown on his first run of the contest. Nathan Davenport pushed across a 2-point conversion to give Mark Twain a 14-7 lead.

A minute later, in a four-wideout set, Henderson connected with Cody Love for a 69-yard touchdown. With the missed extra point, Mark Twain led 14-13.

Mark Twain scored twice more in the first half, taking a 26-13 lead into halftime.

Whatever confidence the Tigers had developed was tested on the opening kickoff of the second half.

Richards took the kickoff at his own 20 and needed just 12 seconds to race 80 yards for a touchdown.

Early in the second half, Barton went to the ground near the Mark Twain bench, clearly in agony with cramps. While Barton was on the sidelines downing bottles of Gatorade to get rehydrated, Perrigo went to work. 

Midway through the third quarter, Perrigo raced 51 yards for a touchdown, and the Tigers used that momentum to control the rest of the game.

Perrigo rushed 18 times for 158 yards and three scores overall. 

“It felt good to get a chance to prove myself,” Perrigo said after the game.

Avery Epperson led the Tigers defense with 16 tackles, including four for loss.

Perrigo, Brayden McLeod and Ben Rule each came up with an interception. 

Davenport recorded a 12-yard touchdown pass to McLeod and also ran for 88 yards and another score.

Mark Twain head coach Karl Asbury was low-key but happy with the win. 

“We have to work on the big plays in practice…. but they played well,” he said.

Mark Twain plays Friday night at Milan (1-0), which scored big in a 41-14 win over Plattsburg to open the season.