Saturday, October 15, 2016
Tigers' winning run ends at BOLD (Olivia)
The photo shows Del Sarlette (left) and the late Tom Hesse in their longstanding tradition of wearing their MHS letter jackets for Homecoming. Tom has left us for those grand football bleachers in the sky, where surely the orange and black colors are resplendent!
MACA football is having one of those seasons that begins to grip the whole town. I sensed this Friday evening as game-time approached for the MACA vs. BOLD game. I wasn't at the game but I was at a public place early in the evening. Talk centered on the Tigers. Could they stay undefeated?
MACA had some mighty fine weapons in building its undefeated status. One worry, though, was a passing game that seemed minimal much of the time. It's quite the contrast with the Tiger team that made Prep Bowl many years ago. Looking back at that Tiger team, I'm surprised we could have lost to anyone. We lost to Breckenridge in Prep Bowl. We had a vaunted passing attack.
This year's Tigers have a trademark of running the ball relentlessly and quite effectively. But on Friday, we couldn't put the tools together to beat BOLD. This widely-anticipated clash of unbeatens ended with the host BOLD Warriors having the advantage. The score was 29-21.
Once again we hoped to rely to a large extent on Jacob Zosel. Zosel is the prolific ballcarrier who churns out yards. He has a reputation recognized statewide. But on Friday his effectiveness was somewhat blunted. Zosel scored a touchdown but his rushing yardage was just over 100, impressive for most players but not what the Tigers needed in this big test.
The standout ballcarrier on the night was BOLD's Austin Einerson. Austin nearly reached 200 yards with his ballcarrying efforts. He reached the end zone twice.
Zosel did give the Tigers the early lead at 7-0. The West Central Tribune described this game as "smash-mouth." I'm not sure that kind of language is palatable anymore regarding football, given how the game has become controversial because of its violence and danger to health. Let's retire the "smash-mouth" expression. Nobody should want to "smash" anyone. We see where former Viking Stu Voigt is using the brain damage excuse in connection to the legal troubles that have befallen him. The legal system has to wonder: Can any former pro football player, or even someone who played college football at a high level, present as an excuse his cognitive impairment?
The MACA passing game was more vibrant Friday than usual. So that's an encouraging sign: a more diversified offense. Quarterback Toby Sayles passed for 101 yards. But he only completed four of 13 attempts and had one picked off. He connected with Dylan Gillespie for a 41-yard touchdown pass. He also completed a 14-yard TD pass to Camden Arndt.
The Willmar paper continues referring to us as "Morris/CA." It was in huge headline type Saturday. Officially we go by "Morris Area Chokio Alberta," and the MACA initials are on the basketball warm-up shirts and also on billboards congratulating the Tigers. It would be nice to see some consensus on this. My own opinion is that we should push for going back to the old "Morris High School." Everyone knows we take in students from a wide radius, as all population center schools do. Anyway. . .
The First quarter ended with MACA up 7-0. Zosel's scoring run was from 25 yards out. But BOLD scored the next three touchdowns. Gavin Vosika carried the ball in from the nine. Vosika hauled in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Sagedahl. Einerson got busy for a seven-yard scoring run.
The Tigers answered to score two touchdowns. Gillespie caught that big 41-yard pass from Sayles. And Arndt made his nifty 14-yard scoring catch that also had Sayles throwing. BOLD tacked on three points with a field goal. And Einerson concluded the night's scoring with a two-yard run.
Zosel gained his 106 rushing yards in 23 carries. Sayles charged forward for 43 rushing yards on seven carries. And Ryan Dietz clutched the football to gain 15 yards. Gillespie caught two passes for 67 yards. Arndt and Zosel had the other pass catches. Sayles punted the ball three times. Chase Metzger and Sayles each intercepted a pass.
BOLD had a marked advantage in rushing yards over the Tigers, 308 to 165. Einerson and Vosika were a 1-2 punch in ballcarrying for the victor. BOLD had just three pass completions in nine attempts. Catching those passes were Einerson, Vosika and Hayden Tersteeg. Einerson intercepted a pass and Vosika recovered a fumble.
The Tigers now have a "short week" and will play in a game that fans once referred to as the "MEA week game." So it's on Wednesday. The foe: Montevideo. The Tigers and Thunder Hawks will clash at our grand Big Cat Stadium. The post-season will follow.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org