NL-Spicer 32, Tigers 14The MEA week game used to be the last game of the regular season. After that we anticipated the playoffs. Today the MEA week game is the first step of the playoffs.
For our Morris Area Chokio Alberta Tigers of 2015, a really exciting team to watch, the first step was the last step. We were a slight on-paper favorite. That's why we got home field. Could our state of the art Big Cat Stadium be a plus for helping nudge us to victory? Well, no.
Our opponent was those Wildcats of New London-Spicer. The Wildcats have been a nemesis for MACA teams in post-season. These apparent "hexes" always end sometime. For the present we're dealing with a 32-14 loss at the hands of the Wildcats. I wasn't there because the ELCA Lutheran churches have a weekly Wednesday gathering at the Old No. 1.
A friend told me the day after, that fumbles killed us early. You know one reason why Tom Brady likes a deflated football? It's harder to cause a fumble. One fumble can change the complexion of a game. Fumbles were a factor holding back our Tigers Wednesday, according to my friend Jim McRoberts who I saw at McDonald's. The game's boxscore shows two lost fumbles by the Tigers. There was also an interception.
A further examination of the boxscore shows that New London-Spicer had three lost fumbles. Maybe they weren't as critical.
I invite you to click on the link below to read about the Tigers' overtime loss at Montevideo on October 9. This post also reviews the volleyball team's 3-0 win over Monte on Oct. 8. This post is on my companion website, "Morris of Course." Thanks for reading. - B.W.
NL-Spicer scored the night's third touchdown when Jackson Ness scored on a one-yard run. The Wildcats had conversion play woes, but MACA would have loved to get a conversion try. Finally we did, when Eric Staebler and Trent Marty ensured we'd get some points in the first half. Staebler caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Marty. The pass try for two on the conversion was no good. Yes we scored but halftime was nearing with the Tigers in a hole. And it got worse before halftime: the Wildcats scored when Josh Evans passed 16 yards to Cody King. So halftime arrived with the Wildcats having scored four touchdowns and the Tigers one. A glum mood prevailed.
A loss would mean a mighty long wait before the start of winter sports. Well, there was no escape from our deficit in the second half. So, MACA athletes will indeed have that very long wait before winter. Long enough that they'll have to adjust their lifestyle appreciably. Spend more time at the computer? More time studying?
Apparently the schedule was moved up so that playoffs can be accommodated before the bad weather hits. That's fine if you're a member or a fan of a team that climbs in the playoffs. Not all do of course. In fact, with each new round of the playoffs, half the teams are eliminated. I'm not sure I like the new arrangement. When I was in high school there were no football playoffs.
NL-Spicer scored the only touchdown of the third quarter Wednesday: Evans threw a big-play pass to Blake Shuck: 52 yards. NL-Spicer will have to go back to the drawing board on conversion plays - again they whiffed. No matter, as the Wildcats had their winning outcome well in hand.
(The Wildcats' successful conversion had to have been in the first half.)
Jacob Zosel scored the Tigers' second touchdown of the night. Zosel ran 54 yards for six. Toby Sayles ran successfully on the conversion. This was an exciting score but it was no consolation to wipe away NL-Spicer's superiority, at least on this night.
What about the future? It's disappointing for our gridders to go one-and-out, just as it was disappointing last winter for our boys basketball team to lose at the outset of playoffs to the seventh seed. Sometimes I wonder if our teams are really geared for post-season excellence. We are underwhelming too much of the time, I would suggest.
Zosel was impressive with his ballcarrying numbers Wednesday: 210 yards on 27 carries. He was a workhorse. Conner Koebernick ran for 13 yards and Sayles for 12. Taylor Staples and Eric Staebler each rushed for six yards. Marty as quarterback completed six passes in 16 attempts for 83 yards. Staebler was Marty's favorite target as he hauled in three passes for 51 yards. Chase Metzger, Sean Amundson and Sayles each had one catch.
The tackle chart showed Staebler with one solo tackle and six assisted tackles. Brady Jergenson had four solos and three assists. Philip Messner had 3-4 numbers, and Sayles had 4-0.
Soine for NL-Spicer had 112 rushing yards on 14 carries. Ness was the other cog in NL-Spicer's running game, with 107 yards in eleven carries. Blake Shuck rushed for 72 yards while James Magnuson had 46 yards, Hunter Sjoberg 25 and Josh Evans 16.
Evans threw the ball downfield for the winning Wildcats. He completed all but one of his eight aerial tries and gained 137 yards with no interceptions. Cody King caught three passes for 72 yards. Shuck had two pass catches for 55 yards. James Magnuson and Wyatt White each had one catch.
Taylor Engelke had an interception. Magnuson had six solo tackles and six assists. Jacob Klavetter and Luke Gilbertson each had a quarterback sack. We'll all have to wait 'til next fall for the next MACA football game. And, we'll have to wait a while for the winter sports season. Yawn.
Lindsey Dierks powered two serve aces over the net. Karly Fehr and Riley Decker each pounded one serving ace. It was Fehr doing the precise setting as always. On this night she had 34 set assists. Jenna Howden went up to execute three ace blocks. Fehr contributed two ace blocks.
Decker put up the best digging stat: 17. Fehr posted 13 digs. The list continues with Brooke Gillespie (10), Dierks (8) and Koral Tolifson (7).
OK, on to hitting: here it was Gillespie and Dierks leading the way, each with 10 kills. Ashley Solvie had seven kills. The list continues with Howden (5), Carly Maanum (3), Moira McNally (2), Fehr (2) and Haley Erdahl (1).
Kaylee Glover had a serving ace for 'Waska. Taylor Amundson had five set assists for the Lakers. Abby VerSteeg had the team-best five kills. Emma Middendorf and Courtney Erickson each had one ace block. VerSteeg topped the Lakers in digs with 13.
Savannah Aanerud placed sixth with her time of 21:04.04. Malory Anderson entered the finish chute No. 10, timed at 21:32.08. Kaylie Raths was No. 16 with her time of 22:01.07. Midori Soderberg placed 19th, timed at 22:21.00.
The MACA boys team placed fourth, led by Cam Arndt whose time was 18:35.05, good for 13th. Ryan Gray was the No. 16 runner on the course, timed at 18:40.02. Noah Stewart placed 17th at 18:40.05. Then it was Tyler Reimers entering the finish chute 33rd at 19:56.08. Dalton Dierks had a 20:11.05 time (40th).
Lac qui Parle-DB was the champion boys team. Kurt TeBeest of Monte was the champion male runner, timed at 16:49.08.
It is a great pleasure for yours truly to continue writing about MACA athletics.