"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)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sauk Centre surges late, stuns Tigers here

Isaac Wente charges forward with the football. (B.W. photos)
Bryce Jergenson delivers a pass for MACA.
The Mainstreeters celebrate after their dramatic win.
Sauk Centre 36, Tigers 35
Sauk Centre found new life in the late stages of Friday's (9/13) game at Big Cat Stadium, Morris. The Streeters surged at the expense of our Morris Area Chokio Alberta Tigers.
It was the second of three straight home games for coach Kevin Pope's MACA squad. Again there was totally pleasant weather. Any threat from too much heat had abated. And yet there was a summer-like atmosphere, a factor no doubt pushing the fan turnout high.
Fans of the orange and black watched with great satisfaction through the first half. The second quarter saw the Tigers outscore the Streeters 22-7. As this game continued into the third quarter, the Tigers not only seemed in control, the game took on a tone of perhaps being a little boring.
Could we indeed chalk this game up as a "W"? Well, as Chris Berman of ESPN has said for years: "That's why. . .they play. . .the game!"
Sauk Centre kept taking the field in an undaunted way. It didn't matter that the Streeters trailed 29-14 with six minutes left in the game. MACA fans watched stunned as the Streeters really got going, putting points on the board sufficient to get the score tied! Amazing.
Regulation time ended with the score 29-all. Representatives of the teams walked out to midfield as the plans were set for overtime. Could MACA eke out an edge again, or would Sauk Centre keep rolling forward with its new life?
Overtime began with the Tigers scoring but getting stopped on the conversion. The conversion failure loomed. Then there was a setback with a penalty on Sauk's first OT play. So the Streeters sat with first-and-five.
The Streeters found the end zone, Trent Berscheit scoring, whereupon MACA fans realized that just one more successful Sauk Centre play would spell the end of the game and defeat for the orange and black!
Out on the field trotted Josh Buschette whose kicking toe would be the center of attention. Former MACA coach Jerry Witt was standing on the bleachers (on the east side) just a few feet from me. He informed me that Sauk Centre had a proven kicker. This is not always a given with high school teams.
This proven kicker, Buschette, showed poise in the clutch and sent the ball through the uprights, capping this spectacular comeback by Sauk Centre. The Tigers had come so close to achieving their first victory of the season and first win in Pope's young tenure.
A win would have also sealed an especially upbeat tone for Morris Area Homecoming week which is this coming week. Of course, everyone will be in a good mood anyway. But a 1-2 record would feel much better than 0-3. The Tigers will host Benson on Friday.
The most exciting play in the Sauk Centre game was probably the long pass that allowed the Streeters to get the score tied and force overtime. Seth Otte threw that pass and Berscheit caught it. It covered 67 yards. It was also necessary for Sauk Centre to succeed on the two-point conversion play. Again Sauk Centre succeeded with an Otte pass. The score was 29-all!
Such a state of affairs couldn't have been foreseen at halftime.
MACA couldn't resurrect its earlier momentum. I wonder if Witt was standing there wondering if MACA could have held its 29-14 advantage if he still had the reins.
Upbeat start for the Tigers
MACA was the first to score in this game. Isaac Wente broke loose on a 35-yard run that ended in six, and Noah Grove kicked the point-after.
Sauk Centre answered as Austin Landkammer scored on a one-yard run and Buschette kicked the PAT. The score was 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Tigers executed at their best in quarter #2. Wente, who would finish the night with 196 rushing yards, scored on a 12-yard run. This time the PAT kick try was errant. (Yes, that would haunt.)
Sauk's Berscheit scored on a five-yard run and Buschette kicked the PAT.
The Tigers' Corey Storck caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryce Jergenson, after which a two-point conversion pass try fell incomplete. Then it was Wente showing his scoring touch again, carrying in from the eight. Wente ran for two on the conversion too.
The next score was on a safety, which the Willmar newspaper reports as having been accomplished by Sauk Centre, but I believe these points went to MACA.
Sauk's Berscheit scored a TD on a seven-yard run, after which Buschette drilled another PAT. The regulation-time scoring was capped by that big 67-yard Otte-to-Berscheit pass. This game had certainly turned non-boring. What the MACA fans really wanted was for this game to be non-losing. It wasn't to be.
Sauk Centre had the look of a team of destiny, at least on this night. Sauk Centre won in the final score of 36-35.
The Tigers' OT touchdown came on a one-yard Jergenson run. He's the senior signal-caller.
I invite you to keep scrolling down to read about the MACA volleyball team's Tuesday and Thursday matches. I am posting more frequently about Tiger sports than in the past. Partly that's because the Morris newspaper seems to be fading ever more in its commitment.
Anyway, I'm having fun even though I seem to be a little "in exile" on the east (visitors) side of the field.
Click on the permalink below to view the MACA football page on Maxpreps.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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