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Football

Ponies Move to 2­-0

Temperature was 92° in Princeton, IL, on Friday, September 4, 2015, as the Morrison High School Ponies took the field against the Princeton Tigers. The opening kickoff was received by Princeton and returned to the 44-yard line; a penalty moved it forward five ­yards. Quarterback Garrett Allen attempted a pass into the right flat that was tipped by Morrison's Tristen DeMay and intercepted by Reilly Dolan at the Morrison 15­-yard line to initiate the action. The first Morrison snap ended with a Nathan Bush fumble, recovered by Princeton on the 30­-yard line. Unable to move the ball, the Tigers turned it over on downs four plays later. Immediately Aaron Deter ripped off 24 yards, Nathan Bush bullied for eight yards, and DeMay skirted for 19 more. The Ponies were establishing themselves for the Princeton loyals. Six more plays into the drive featured Deter's 21 ­yarder, before he finished the scoring drive with a five­-yard touchdown. With 3:42 on the clock the Ponies led 6­-0. A Tiger drive only gained seven yards, and the Ponies ended the quarter with the ball on their own 49­-yard line.

The second play of the second quarter ended in a Reilly Dolan fumble lost on the Morrison 47.

The Morrison defense refused to yield any ground to the Tigers and forced them to punt with 7:15 left in the half. Starting on their own 19­-yard line, the Ponies marched to the Tiger 45­-yard line. Deter broke loose over right tackle, covered the yardage to the end zone, and expand the score to 12­-0 with 4:22 left in the half. The Tigers remained unable to execute against the stiff defense of the Ponies and gave the ball back on the 18­-yard line. A six-yard gain by Sebastian Larsen set up a 76-­yard run to paydirt by Deter. The score closed the half with Morrison in control with a 20-­0 advantage. The stats showed an advantage in total yards gained by the Ponies:  256 yards to the Tigers' 29 yards.

The third quarter revealed the effect of the 90°-plus temperatures. Players started to cramp, and fatigue began to show. Each team held the possession for two drives in the quarter and neither team accumulated over 20 yards of offense during the entire ten minute quarter.

Morrison owned the ball to open the final quarter and moved from their own 11­-yard line to the Princeton 41. Dolan dropped a snap, and Princeton fell on the loose ball at the 47­-yard line. Tigers' Dallas Hill carried three times to the Morrison 43­-yard line. Allen went to the air and found Kendile Whitford in the end zone, to put the Tigers on the scoreboard with 5:02 remaining in the game. Following the Tiger score, Morrison moved down to the Princeton 17­-yard line with the aid of a 21­-yard run by Dolan, but the drive stalled. They turned the ball over on downs at the Princeton 24-­yard line. The first Tiger snap resulted in a 53­-yard pass completion from Allen to Whitford, and the Tigers were first-and-ten on the Morrison 23-­yard line. Two plays later, Allen completed another pass to Whitford, but he fumbled it after the completion. The Ponies fell on the ball at the 12­-yard line with only 46 seconds left in the game. Two knee-downs sealed the win, and the early season record moved Morrison to 2 wins and 0 losses.

The Ponies dominated the statistics. They totaled 358 total yards versus the Tigers' 141 yards, of which 96 yards came on two long pass completions. Deter ended the hot evening with 210 total yards rushing, followed by Dolan's 31 and DeMay's 39.

The Ponies will defend their home turf next Friday night, September 11, as they host the Newman Comets at E. M. "Bud" Cole Field in Morrison.

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