MACA football has been coming on like gangbusters since its sluggish start to the season. On the heels of its high-scoring win over Sauk Centre, the Tigers did it again Friday, downing rival Benson 48-14.
The site was Benson. The trip back on Highway 9 was most pleasant for the Morris Area Chokio Alberta student-athletes and their fans. The orange and black spirit is sky-high. This sets the stage for Homecoming week. The Tigers will make their triumphant return to Big Cat Stadium.
Seven touchdowns spelled victory for coach Kevin Pope's squad on Friday. The Tigers came out of the starting gate in an overpowering way. My goodness, the first quarter saw MACA overpower Benson to the tune of 20-6.
Benson did score first. After that the MACA engines really got humming. First it was Trent Wulf scoring a touchdown on a 13-yard run. The pass try on the conversion was no-go. Then it was quarterback Trent Marty breaking loose for a 35-yard scoring run. Noah Grove kicked the point-after.
Wulf went to work on a 13-yard scoring scamper that was followed by another good Grove kick. Wulf closed out the first half scoring with a big 36-yard scoring run, and again Grove kicked the ball between the uprights. The Tigers were up 27-6 for the halftime break, ready to cruise for the second half. But the Tigers did not stand pat. They added three touchdowns to their total, leaving the Benson side of the field pretty quiet.
Isaac Wente took off on a 28-yard TD run. Grove kicked the PAT. Following a Benson score, Wente was off to the races for a 25-yard scoring scamper. Again Grove's toe was true. Wulf turned in the biggest play of the night: a 66-yard run that closed out the evening's scoring. Grove kept kicking 'em through, and the final horn sounded with that 48-14 score and the Tigers (and fans) most exhilarated.
The Tigers rushed for over 400 yards on the night. Passing wasn't that much of a factor but there were no interceptions. Marty completed three of six pass attempts for 53 yards and that pleasing "zero" under INTs. Toby Sayles completed his only pass attempt. Eric Staebler made two of the catches for 32 yards. Sean Amundson and Chase Metzger had the other catches.
Sayles and Grove did the MACA punting. Grove picked off a Benson pass.
Wulf accumulated 220 yards rushing the football on 18 carries. Wente charged forward for 88 yards on eight carries. Chase Metzger had eight carries for 34 yards, and QB Marty added 36 rushing yards to the mix. Indeed the Tigers had a multi-pronged attack.
Defensively, Wente and Charles Nagel each had two sacks. These Tigers each came through with half a sack: Nate Vipond, Brady Jergenson, Paul Hockert and Ryan Dietz.
Aaron Ahrndt passed for 164 yards for Benson, but his completion percentage was not impressive. Layton Connelly led Benson's rushing with the modest total of 35 yards. Jacob Connelly was very impressive in the receiving category with seven receptions for 61 yards. Adam Lindahl had five catches for 109 yards. Layton Connelly added three catches to the mix. Tyler Smith and Dakota Watkins recovered fumbles for the Braves.
Our coach Pope would like to get his team's fumble total down to zero. The Tigers are now readying to host the BOLD Warriors for Homecoming 2014.
Volleyball: Tigers 3, BOLD 2
The Tigers played their second straight marathon five-game match on Thursday, Sept. 25. Exhausting it was, but MACA could savor victory in both contests. Both were on the road.
On the heels of upsetting New London-Spicer on Tuesday, coach Kristi Fehr's squad went to work beating BOLD 3-2 at Olivia on Thursday. BOLD actually went up 2-0. Scores in those first two games were 25-20 and 28-26.
Were the Tigers deflated? Not at all. They summoned fresh focus and disposed of the Warriors in the next three games. Those game scores were 25-11, 25-20 and 15-10. MACA hiked its season record to 6-4 (5-3 in conferernce).
Kayla Pring racked up three ace serves. Lacee Maanum and Kourtney Giese each batted two ace serves at the Warriors. (The Willmar newspaper spelled Kourtney's name "Courtney.") Haley Erdahl, Brooke Gillespie, Karly Fehr and Lindsey Dierks each had one ace.
Karly Fehr was the busy setter, showing stamina through this five-game match to achieve 33 set assists. Tracy Meichsner added three set assists. Pring had two ace blocks followed by Erdahl and Fehr each with one. Gillespie stood out in the digs category with her 27. Giese had 17 digs, Fehr 14 and Dierks 12.
Let's close out this stat review with hitting, where Maanum pounded down 16 kills on this long night of volleyball. Pring racked up 15 kills and Gillespie 11. Peyton Weis had 14 kills for the host Warriors. (When I was a kid, whenever I heard the town name "Olivia" I thought of Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins!)
Whitney Haney had five ace blocks for BOLD. Ashley Schmitz accumulated 35 digs. Lauren Kopel had five ace serves.
Tiger sports enthusiasm will be sky-high for Homecoming week 2014! Bring on more football and volleyball!
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org