|Coach Jerry Witt and players savor win over Albany. (B.W. photos)|
|Logan Manska advances the ball vs. Albany in section win.|
|Connor Metzger is off and running on his 34-yard touchdown run.|
|Jordan Staples charges forward with football in the Saturday win.|
Next stop: St. Cloud State. The big football stadium at SCSU will be the site for the next MACA football challenge.
We're into the post-season now. It began with a bye for our undefeated Tigers. The well-rested squad then took the field Saturday night at their own comfortable venue of Big Cat Stadium.
Our stadium here has a feel much like the St. Cloud stadium. These stadiums are part of a popular new wave of artificial turf venues. The St. Cloud stadium is right next to the grand Mississippi River. It's part of a complex that includes the hockey arena and old Halenbeck Hall (and fieldhouse).
Kickoff time is set for 5:45 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 2. The Tigers take a 9-0 season mark into this new challenge. On the other side of the football will be New London-Spicer, the Wildcats. The Tigers and Wildcats are set to clash in the Section 6AAA championship game.
We saw the Tigers take care of business Saturday in the semis vs. Albany. The Tigers began taking over this game in the second quarter, and the situation became more rosy in the third. The four quarters ended with MACA up 33-13.
The first quarter saw each team score a touchdown. It was the Tigers striking first as quarterback Jacob Torgerson ran the football into the end zone from the seven. Noah Grove kicked the point-after.
But Albany answered promptly with a kickoff return that ended in the end zone. It was Mike Schlangen returning that kickoff for six for Albany. The PAT kick try was unsuccessful. The first quarter ended with coach Jerry Witt's Tigers leading 7-6.
Any suspense would fade pretty steadily. The Tigers seized the "mo" by scoring 13 points each in the second and third quarters.
Here's how these four Tiger touchdowns unfolded: Tom Holland scored on a run from the eleven. Grove's kick was true. Torgerson found daylight for a score from the one. This time the PAT try was no-go. Connor Metzger then took over, turning on the jets on a scoring run from 34 yards. Grove found the middle of the uprights. Then Jordan Staples scored on an eight-yard run, after which the PAT try misfired.
Albany scored the night's final touchdown as it was Schlangen again finding the end zone on a 14-yard scamper. Scott Litchy kicked the point-after.
The Tigers bathed in a wave of warm cheers from their home sideline. Warm, yes, on an otherwise quite chilly night.
Coach Witt had to smile about the turnover-free football his squad played. He also had to beam about his team's aggressive defense reflected in six quarterback sacks. Intensity, yes!
The Tigers had 17 first downs.
The rushing attack was a force indeed. Tom Holland covered 123 rushing yards in 14 carries. Staples charged forward for 58 yards in eleven carries. Tanner Picht picked up 69 rushing yards in ten carries. Metzger's big TD run was part of four carries for 53 yards for this reliable Tiger. Torgerson contributed 24 rushing yards, and Aaron Nelson added a handful of yards to the mix.
Torgerson's passing stats were five completions in ten attempts for 61 yards and no interceptions. The quarterback's targets were Holland (one catch, eleven yards), Logan Manska (2-47), Chandler Erickson (one catch, four yards) and Picht (one catch).
Picht handled the Tigers' punting - just two punts needed. Staples and Austin Dierks each intercepted a pass. Nick Vipond had a fumble recovery. Tackle chart standouts included Tyler Henrichs, Erickson, Metzger, Staples, John Tiernan, Nate Vipond and Nick Vipond.
The Viponds were in on sacking the quarterback. Other Tigers to cite in that role were Tirenan, Henrichs, Erickson and Staples.
Albany's Schlangen had 86 rushing yards in 15 carries, plus he had three pass receptions for 40 yards.
The Tigers' 26 unanswered points in the second and third quarters told the story of this game. What will the story be on Friday? Fans are looking forward with anticipation.
If you're new to this website, you should know I've reviewed every Tiger football game this season (not to mention the last two seasons also). I appreciate you visiting.
Most of my Tiger volleyball coverage has been on my companion website, "Morris of Course" (linked at upper-right on this page).
Thank you and good luck to coach Witt and his Tigers! Viva Morris Area Chokio Alberta football for 2012.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org