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Tiger junior varsity football team completes successful season

9-13-10 Game 1

Morris 18, BOLD 7

The defense started out slow and gave up three first downs, but then they stepped it up to stop the Warrior offense. Now it was time for the Tigers to show their offensive ability. The offense started moving the ball, but we jumped on third and short. We took the opportunity to connect on a short pass from Jacob Torgerson to Lincoln Berget, which Lincoln turned into a 36-yard gainer. From there the tailbacks took over and we finished the drive with a three-yard run by Tom Holland. We were forced to go for two because our long snapper, Darion Helberg, hurt his arm earlier in the game. The point after attempt (PAT) failed.

Things were looking good as Lincoln forced a fumble on the kickoff, and an alert Connor Metzger jumped on the ball. The Tigers turned it over on the very next play with a Torgerson interception. BOLD took this shift in momentum and drove the length of the field to get to the six-yard line with first and goal. The defense really stepped it up and BOLD turned the ball over on downs. The Tigers took just eight plays to drive the 96 yards to score with just 10 seconds left in the half. Jacob, while in the grasp of a BOLD defender, made a nice pass to Logan Manska, who sprinted his way to pay dirt. The PAT failed.

The Tigers started by kicking the ball deep, but the Warriors had a good return to the 40-yard line. The defense held and forced them to punt four plays later. We returned the favor, but ours was caused by a penalty of not having enough guys on the line. (This was the first of three times for the night.) Tanner Picht gave us good field position as he booted a 35-yard punt, which BOLD did not get the opportunity to return. Once again our salty defense forced the Warriors to punt four plays later.

Another eight-play, 48-yard drive gave the Tigers an 18-0 lead. The 28-yard touchdown run was a reverse to Logan, which was set up nicely by hard running by Tom and Tanner. The PAT failed as the back went the wrong direction and the line cleared a hole you could drive a truck through.

BOLD would not be shut out today as they took the ball and worked their way up the field as they scratched out four first downs and scoring on a short run. The kick was good, giving an 18-7 final score. There was still plenty of excitement, but no scoring. BOLD attempted an onside kick, which took a friendly bounce right into the arms of an alert Logan Manska who took it to the house, only to have it called back as the Tigers were called for a block in the back. Morris earned another first down, but eventually turned it over on downs to BOLD that drove down the field due to missed assignment on the defense. Time expired.

The line played great on both sides of the ball and our linebacker core looked really good. We need to reduce mistakes and try to get everybody healthy since by the end of the game we were short three linemen, Joel Harrison, Mac Beyer, and Darion Helberg.

9-20-10 Game 2

Morris 28, Minnewaska 14

The Tigers started out deep in their own territory and punted just four plays later. WASKA manage eight plays, before the Tigers' defense stiffened up again and forced them to punt. The Tigers put together a 14-play drive covering 61 yards. Almost half of these were covered by receptions by Tom Holland and Blaine Hills. The Tigers finally scored with 10:25 left in the second quarter when Connor busted through the line from three yards out. The PAT pass was incomplete for a 6-0 Tiger lead.

The Lakers scored just three plays later with some long passes that were a result of miscommunication by the defensive backs. Their play would pick up later in the game and started on the PAT as Tom Holland batted down the pass to keep the scored knotted up at 6-6.

WASKA was successful with their onside kick attempt and moved the ball towards the end zone, but the D-line really turned up the heat on the quarterback and the D-backs were on the same page which resulted in several incomplete passes and eventually an interception by Logan Manska, who returned it 33 yards to put us just past midfield. Ten plays and 46 yards later, Tom Holland scooted into the end zone on a five-yard run with just 1:36 remaining in the first half. Tanner scored on the PAT with a wide ice to put the Tigers up 14-6. WASKA ran out of time as they started their drive just before half.

The Lakers came out with more of a sense of urgency in the second half as they drove the ball over 40 yards in 12 plays, but then the Tiger defense stopped them. The Tigers managed to get just past midfield, but failed to gain a first down on fourth and short with a quarterback sneak. WASKA was moving in the direction of the goal, when Lincoln picked off a pass from the corner position and scampered 63 yards to put the Tigers up 20-6 with just 1:12 left in the third quarter. Jacob scored on the PAT with a quarterback keeper around the end.

Eleven plays and sixty plus yards later, the Lakers scored for the second time and took over six minutes off of the clock. The two-point conversion was good. Morris answered with a six-play drive that covered 63 yards that was capped off by a seven-yard run by Connor Metzger. The PAT failed which brought the score to 28-14. This is how the game ended as time once again expired as the Lakers put together a final drive.

The guys played great in the hot humid weather, especially considering the low numbers that we had.

9-27-10 Game 3

Morris 50, Lac qui Parle Valley 0

LQPV won the toss and received the opening kickoff. Four plays later, they punted to the Tigers. Morris made short work of the 57 yards. The drive took five plays capped off by Connor Metzger's one-yard dart into the end zone. The kick failed and it was 6-0 Tigers at 6:18.

Four plays later, the Tigers had the ball again after a mishandled snap during the punt. Jordan Staples went the 18 yards in two plays to notch up another score for the Tigers. The kick failed and it was 12-0 Tigers at 2:50. The Eagles repeated the mishandling of the snap and Jacob Torgerson tackled the punter in the end zone for a safety. 14-0 Tigers. The next series saw Connor again going 61 yards in three plays to once again hit pay dirt. This time Tanner drilled one down the middle of the uprights to give the Tigers a 21-0 lead.

The Eagles didn't fair too well in the next series as the alert Logan Manska picked off an Eagle pass. Five plays and 55 yards later, Tanner Picht zipped into the end zone to give the Tigers a 27-0 lead. Following a mishandled snap for the kick, Jacob Torgerson picked up the ball and ran in the two point conversion for a 29-0 lead.

LQPV had another punt on the fourth down and punt series. Tanner had a 36-yard run and Tom finished the four-play, 78-yard drive to bump the Tigers' score up to 35-0. The kicked failed. The results were the same and the Tigers chose to kneel the ball down to end the half 35-0.

The opening drive saw the Tigers play a little sloppy as the line allowed the quarterback to get sacked and a holding call erased a 28-yard run by Brian Miller. Despite these break downs, the Tigers still managed to drive the 71 yards and allowed Staples to score with 3:49 left in the third quarter. Staples also ran in the extra point to put the Tigers up 43-0.

The Eagles manged to muster some offense, but the stiff Tiger defense stopped them on a fourth and short. The Tiger continued to eat up the clock as we scored with just 1:05 left on the clock when Logan Manska scampered 28 yards on a quarterback keeper. Tanner nailed another kick to finish the scoring 50-0.

The Tigers executed well on offense, but the big improvement came for the defensive secondary as they did not give up one pass complete pass. This was added by the pressure that the defensive line and the linebackers brought to the quarterback.

10-4-10 Game 4

Benson 27, Morris 18

We kicked to the Braves and forced them to punt after earning several first downs. The Tigers started the seven-play drive with a 20-yard reception. Six plays and 45 yards later, Jacob Torgerson scored on a six-yard quarterback keeper around the end. The kick failed to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead with just 3:31 left in the first quarter.

Benson started on their 30-yard line and after several big plays and a face masking call, saw the Braves knocking on the door of the end zone. Jacob Torgerson made a big interception, but the Tigers turned it right back to the Braves on the very next play. The Braves took full advantage of the turnover as they scored four plays later to tie the game 6-6. The kick failed.

The Tigers' next drive saw us turning the ball over on downs as we had a breakdown in execution. Morris defense turned up the intensity and pushed the upback into the ball of the punter. Three plays later Tom scooted 38 yards for a second Tiger score. The kick failed to give the Tigers a 12-6 lead. This is how the first half ended as time expired for the Braves on the following drive.

Morris received the ball and were moving the ball when we fumbled the ball just past midfield. Benson chipped away at the defense and eventually scored with 7:02 left in the third quarter. The kick was good and gave the Braves a 13-12 lead.

The Tigers took the ball and moved it well, but lack of execution resulted in the Tigers having to punt the ball. The Braves threw another interception, but once again the Tigers fumbled deep in the Brave territory. Just like the last time, Benson capitalized on the turnover to score again. The kick failed to give the Braves a 19-12 lead.

The ensuing drive saw more of the same as the Tigers fumbled deep in Brave territory and once again the Braves made short work of the field position and then made it sting a little more as they passed for two more in the conversion attempt to give them a 27-12 lead.

Morris scored one more time and had to go for two, but once again failed as the ball went right through the unguarded receiver's hands. This left Morris down 27-18. The onside kick was not successful, but the defense made two nice defensive stands, only to literally hand the ball back to the Braves on one play and finally throw an interception with just 14.4 seconds left on the clock.

The turnovers really hurt the Tigers, but the bigger factor was the lack of intensity displayed by the players most of the game. They showed their intensity, which has been their trademark so far this year, only the last three minutes of the game. The rest of the game they were just going through the motions.

10-11-10 Game 5

Morris 39, Paynesville 6

The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff and were marching up the field, until the Tiger defense showed their trademark intensity again and forced them to punt. The Tigers were able to get the ball back over the midfield mark and get the first down on a forth and long with the fake punt, only to have it called back with an ineligible receiver downfield. This time Morris was forced to punt.

On the very next play, Nick Vipond recovered the Bulldog fumble. Three plays later Joel Beyer sent in the play that resulted in Jacob Torgerson throwing the ball right on the mark to hit a wide open Lincoln Berget for a 26-yard touchdown pass. Tanner nailed the kick to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

Paynesville again moved the ball quite well until an alert Logan Manska intercepted a Bulldog pass. The Tigers struggled the next offensive series and ended up punting it back to Paynesville. The Bulldogs scored on a 54-yard run as the safety and corner both had a breakdown in assignments. The pressure on the kicker caused the missed attempt, which left the Tigers in the lead 7-6. Both the Bulldogs and Tigers were forced to punt in fourth and long positions. Then the Tigers surprised the Bulldogs with a quickscreen and great blocking by Tanner to allow Tom to sprint 67 yards for another Tiger score. Tanner's kick was good to give Morris a 14-6 lead just before halftime.

Due to miscommunication among the captains, the Tigers once again kicked to the Bulldogs. The stiff defense forced Paynesville to punt. The Tigers chewed up some clock as they moved down the field. On a call by the injured Mac Beyer, Logan Manska hit Lincoln on a double pass for another score. The kick was just left of the upright and resulted in a 20-6 Tiger lead with just 5:35 left in the third quarter.

On the Bulldogs' second play, Jacob stripped the ball from the running back and Connor Metzger pounced on the ball. Seven plays later, Jacob hit Lincoln again for his third touchdown reception of the day. The kick was deflected so the lead went to 26-6.

Tom picked off a pass just two plays into the drive in Paynesville's next drive. The Tigers once again found Lincoln wide open seven plays later to put the Tigers up 32-6. Once again, the kick was just wide.

Paynesville managed four first downs in the next series, but once again the Tigers' defense stiffened to give us the ball. Five plays later, Tom Holland scored on a 37-yard run. This was set up by a 30-yard run by Tanner. Tanner's kick was right down the middle and the lead was extended to 39-6. The game ended as the time expired on the Bulldogs' last drive.

The Tigers played hard and executed well most of the time on both sides of the ball. It was good to see the intensity back for the Tiger players.

10-18-10 Game 6

Morris 43, Montevideo 0

The Tigers lost the flip and kicked off to the Thunderhawks. Three plays later, the Tigers gained possession as Nick Vipond pounced on the ball. Four more plays transpired as the Tigers were first on the board as Tanner Picth scampered 14 yards after catching a quick screen. The kick was blocked. Tigers 6, Thunderhawk 0.

The second series for Monte was pretty much the same, as Tanner recovered a Thunderhawk fumble just three plays into the drive. On a fourth and long, Tanner waited until the last possible second before unleashing a long pass. Lincoln made the hit on Tanner worth it as he snagged the ball and took two more steps to take the Tigers into the end zone for their second score. The kick was wide left, so the Tigers led 12-0.

Tanner proceeded to boot the ball deep in the following kick off. The defense forced the Thunderhawks into a fourth and long, when a bad snap had the kicker chasing the ball into the end zone where Lincoln smothered the kicker for a safety just as the kicker picked up the ball. This moved the Tigers ahead to a 14-0 lead with just 1:40 left in the quarter.

Morris started moving the ball well until a couple of penalties forced the Tigers into a passing situation. Jacob Torgerson was forced out of the pocket and sprinted 30 yards for another Tiger touchdown with just 9.1 seconds left. Austin Thielke had a key downfield block and Jacob made the right read. Tanner drilled one down the middle of the uprights to put the Tigers up 21-0.

Jordan Staples powered in a one-yard run that capped off a seven-play drive that covered 66 yards with five first downs. Logan had a big gain on a reverse to help set up the touchdown. Tanner nailed another one right down the middle to push the lead to 28-0. This is how the half ended.

After starting deep in Tiger territory, the Tigers marched 77 yards in 13 plays, with seven of the 13 being first down plays. The Tigers were not flawless as they jumped and held one time each. Tom Holland showed his speed as he darted 14 yards for another TD. Tanner had another beautiful kick which bumped the lead to 35-0.

Monte had another four-and-out series, and just three plays later Tanner gave the Thunderhawks a taste of his speed as he sprinted 52 yards for another six. After a bad snap, an alert Jacob Torgerson tossed the ball to a wide open Bryce Jeurgenson for two more points. 43-0.

Monte took the kickoff and put together a nice drive all the way down inside the 10, where Bryce intercepted the ball to kill the drive. The Tigers knelt down the ball end the game.

10-25-10 Game 7

New London-Spicer 19, Morris 12

On a cold a drizzly day the Wildcats came to town in a game that was added to the schedule as Long Prarie-Grey Eagle cancelled the first game of the year due to low participation rate.

Morris moved the ball well until we failed to get the first down on fourth and short. NLS didn't waste much time to get into the end zone as seven plays later they hit the wide out on a pass up the sideline. The kick was on the mark to give them a 7-0 lead.

The Tigers once again moved the ball well until we threw an interception that killed a 10-play drive. The defense picked it up a bit as they forced the Wildcats to punt. Tanner sprinted 47 yards behind a great Connor Metzger block and a nice downfield block by Michael Michaelson. The kick was wide left and the Tigers now trailed 6-7.

The defense allowed three first downs, then had the Wildcats third and long when they unleased another long pass up the sideline for another touchdown. The kick was off the mark to extend the lead to 13-6 in the Wildcat favor.

The Tigers fumbled on the next series, but Jacob picked off a pass just past the mid-field mark. Following a couple of nice run plays, Jacob connected with Austin on a deflected pass. The pass was short on the two-point conversion, leaving the score 12-13 still in favor of the Wildcats.

Tanner boomed the kick-off into the end zone, so the Wildcats started on the 20-yard line. After gaining three more first downs, New London-Spicer was forced to punt. The Tigers had difficulty mustering an offense, and turned the ball over about midfield. The Wildcats once again went to the air to score after we had them pinned deep. The defense snuffed the attempted kick to keep the lead at 19-12. After almost breaking the kick-off return, we failed to put together much offensive power.

The guys played hard and never quit. This was by far the best team we faced all year. We were short some of our offensive weapons as Tom couldn't play due to being moved to the varsity for the injured Cody Cannon and both Logan and Lincoln being out with injuries. Logan was really missed on the defensive side of the ball. Despite all these factors, the guys played their hearts out! I told them at the beginning of the season that we had to play with the concept of "Interchangeable parts invented by Eli Whitney." Little did I realize how many injuries we would sustain throughout the season.

The only two losses came at the hands of two undefeated teams. The line play was great and the backs ran hard. The special teams kept getting better. The passing attack just kept getting better as the season progressed. Sophomores on the JV team were Tom Holland, Joel Harrison, Connor Metzger, Jordan Staples, Lincoln Berget, Tanner Picht, Jacob Torgerson, Darion Helberg, Logan Manska, James Burke, Michael Michaelson, Mac Beyer, John Tiernan, Nic Vipond, Marcus Cannon, Blaine Hills, and Ty Ostby. They saw constant help by juniors Patrick Uphoff and Jordan Gillespie. Other juniors and freshmen were called on as injuries took place.