"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tigers take charge amidst wind at Big Cat

Everyone bundled up vs. the harsh weather Tuesday evening at Big Cat Stadium. (Photos by B.W.)
Tyler Hansen looks for some more yardage in the win over Benson. Tyler rumbled for 200 yards on the night.
Quarterback Ryan Beyer confers with assistant coach Lyle Rambow. Ryan had 81 rushing yards.
Tyler Moser, the Tigers' No. 69, shows aggressiveness from the 'D' side during the Tuesday playoff success.

Morris Area 26, Benson 0 (playoffs)
Midday it seemed almost questionable whether a high school football game could be played at Big Cat Tuesday night. The wind was literally roaring across the West Central Minnesota prairie. It reminded us of the character "Yukon Cornelius" saying "the weather isn't fit for man or beast" in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
It seemed like a good day to stay hunkered down inside, but when 7 p.m. came, many local football fans were intrepid enough to head over to Big Cat Stadium and see the Tigers.
Not only was the game not postponed, it drew more fans than anyone could have predicted several hours prior.
The pep band? My goodness no. But fans got bundled up and gave their support to coach Jerry Witt's gridiron crew, which made its 2010 playoff debut. It was against Benson.
The Morris Area football Tigers took charge in a 26-0 win in this Section 5AA showdown.
Yours truly figured going in, that the brand of football would probably be dull due to the weather, with offensive options limited. But it wasn't dull at all.
The Tigers scored in three quarters and upped their won-lost record to 7-2. Now the challenge is to host BOLD on Saturday night. BOLD won by a nearly identical score (27-0) over Minnewaska Area Tuesday. The Tigers will host the Warriors at 7 p.m. Saturday at Big Cat in a 5AA semis game.
The other semis game will involve Yellow Medicine East at Eden Valley-Watkins. YME beat Lac qui Parle Valley 26-16 Tuesday, while EV-W was the 43-12 winner over Paynesville.
The wind was no hindrance to the Morris Area running game Tuesday. The Tigers charged forward for 534 yards in 67 carries. Tyler Hansen came out ahead of the wind with 200 rushing yards and he scored three touchdowns. Tanner Picht broke loose near game's end for an exciting 58-yard run. Eric Riley was typically dependable with 94 rushing yards in 16 carries.
QB Ryan Beyer ran for 81 yards in 16 carries and Tim Ostby outran the wind and the Braves for 78 yards in just eight carries. Tommy Holland and Jordan Fletcher each had one carry for an appreciable gain.
It wasn't a night to pass the football like crazy, but signal-caller Beyer did have a completion good for 17 yards. Hansen caught it.
A pivotal point in the game was in the first half and with no points yet on the board. This seemed like a game where the team that scored first might have a big advantage, so it was critical that Morris Area stop Benson on a fourth-and-goal play with the ball at the one. Benson got this opportunity after returning a fumble recovery 50 yards and beginning this series at the ten.
The Tigers were stubborn, they held, and eventually seized the momentum themselves. Hansen scored the first three Tiger touchdowns and these came from 21, 88 and four yards.
The final Tiger TD came on a Tim Ostby 36-yard run. An Ostby run constituted the only MAHS success on a conversion play. Kicking was a rather difficult proposition on this night, as Yukon Cornelius could easily explain. A kicked ball might well just come back at you!
Tommy Holland and Tim Ostby each had an interception, and Tyler Moser had a fumble recovery. The following Tigers had impact on the tackle chart: Tim Ostby, Cody Hickman, Tyler Hansen, Eric Riley and Ryan Beyer.
The Benson Braves close out their season with a 3-6 record. Derek Hilleren rushed for 90 yards in the losing cause for them Tuesday.
If the Morris Area football Tigers were able to draw a robust crowd Tuesday, when weather seemed unsuitable for man or beast, Big Cat ought to be really brimming Saturday when the ball flies off the tee at 7 p.m. for the semis challenge against BOLD, a team that the Tigers were able to handle fairly easily in the regular season.
So, will Saturday be a cakewalk? Just ask coach Witt that question. You know without even asking that the coaches will demand 100 percent focus for this fresh playoff challenge!
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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