"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)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Can MACA football reverse the disappointment?

Melrose 41, Tigers 15
Turnovers loomed again as a negative factor for MACA football on Tuesday (10/22) in the playoffs.
The Tigers flamed out in the 2013 playoffs, playing but one game. The team seemed to regress toward the end of the season.
I have been sort of flailing my arms suggesting that old coaching hands Jerry Witt and Lyle Rambow be brought back. Once a regressing trend like this sets in, it can be awfully hard to reverse. No one at YME, I'm sure, predicted their team would ever lose 26 straight games.
Disclosure: I'm the same age as Witt and Rambow, and their spouses (Holly and Londa) as well. I'm biased. I'm also Lyle's neighbor (well, two doors down). Come on out trick-or-treating if you'd like.
I doubt that a Witt-coached team would have the kind of problems with turnovers as this year's Tigers. We have one of the finest football facilities around in Big Cat Stadium. We don't want a losing streak to set in.
The books are closed on the 2013 season with a won-lost mark of 2-7. Many fans had assumed we'd end the regular season on a roll. You know what happens when you assume.
The Tigers lost to Melrose 41-15 on Tuesday. We trailed 28-7 at halftime. The host Dutchmen could go on cruise control for the second half. We scored seven points in the first quarter and eight in the fourth. In between was futility. The Dutchmen scored in every quarter. 
It's 4:15 p.m. Thursday as I post this, and I see no coverage of the game on the Morris newspaper website. I know the game was disappointing here in Motown, but a little media acknowledgement is certainly in order anyway. Winning and cheers aren't a prerequisite for attention.
Zach Pierskalla began the scoring with a 14-yard run in the first quarter. He also kicked the PAT to put Melrose up 7-0.
There was some fleeting optimism for MACA fans as Isaac Wente carried the ball in from the two. Noah Grove kicked the point-after, so we have a tie.
Melrose re-asserted itself with a touchdown scored by Gentry Middendorf. Middendorf broke loose on a run covering 68 yards. The PAT kick try was no good. Pierskalla went back to work for the next Melrose score, covering 24 yards of real estate en route for six. Again he kicked the point-after.
The Melrose onslaught built up steam as Pierskalla scored again, this time with a run from the seven. He was handed the ball on the conversion and found the end zone again.
The next Melrose strike came via the passing game: Matthew Beste threw the ball to Middendorf on a play covering 35 yards. Pierskalla's toe produced the point-after.
The Tigers' Riley Biesterfeld scored on a 24-yard pass that had Bryce Jergenson throwing the pigskin. Isaac Wente added two points with a run on the conversion.
The night's final score was by Melrose: a Ryan Preusser four-yard scamper. The PAT kick attempt was no good.
The Tigers experienced two lost fumbles and two interceptions on this night of frustration. They were called for just one penalty (five yards). Bryce Jergenson passed for 100 yards on the nose. He completed seven passes in eleven attempts and had one interception. Trent Marty threw the other interception.
Biesterfeld and Bo Olson each had three pass catches, Biesterfeld covering 78 yards and Olson covering 32. Corey Storck had one reception for 16 yards and Sean Amundson one for five. Grove handled the Tigers' two punts.
Wente didn't find as many openings as he would have liked, and this leading rusher settled for 66 yards in 18 carries of the football. Olson picked up 64 rushing yards in nine carries. Trent Wulf had 23 yards in eight carries. Three other Tigers received handoffs for negligible yardage: Jordan Thooft, Jared Anderson and Grove.
Pierskalla was a force carrying the football for the victor, with 135 rushing yards in 25 carries. Middendorf too was a force, surpassing 100 yards in his eleven carries. These two were complemented by four other ballcarriers: Anthony Welle, Seth Noll, Ryan Preusser and Beste.
Beste did the Melrose passing and with an efficient touch, hooking up with receivers seven times in 10 attempts for 165 yards and no INTs. Four Dutchmen made the catches: Middendorf, Isaac Herkenhoff, Blake Gerads and Drake Meyer.
Noll (the same last name as the legendary Steelers coach) and Meyer had the interceptions.
What's up for the future of Morris Area Chokio Alberta football? First we'll watch the winter and spring seasons unfold with plenty of excitement in store for sure. The weather today (Thursday) is most pleasant with not a hint of winter. But don't worry, winter will fulfill its appointment in these parts. 
Lots of thrills from Wolverines
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley football shone in Tuesday playoff action, downing RCW 52-13 at Graceville - one of those daylight games in Wolverine country. (Do you still remember the Graceville "Shamrocks?")
The Wolverines are the defending state nine-man football champs.
Would you believe the Wolverines scored all their points in the first half Tuesday? Wow! They're 9-0 on the season. The win was their 21st straight. They are 31-1 since the start of the 2011 season.
Damon Gibson, an athlete with Morris connections, completed all three of his pass attempts for 39 yards and wasn't picked off.
Michael McKee had 121 rushing yards in ten carries. (I remember a McKee from west of here who shot the lights out against Morris in a tournament basketball game at UMM in about 1980. He was a "one-man team" - how the Morris coach described him. I seem to recall he wore thick glasses.)
Many Wolverines carried the football in the explosive win. Austin Maanum carried for 62 yards in just three carries. Jason Montonye had two interceptions while Maanum and Nate Bauer each had one.
I have been told there is a "St. Mary's (school) connection" with this recent successful regime in CGB football. Congrats. If I were still in the print media, I'd dig into that and do a feature article.
Damon Gibson's mother Heather runs that "Morris Area Merchants" publication which is exemplary.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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