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Ponies Nose Past Kewanee in Opener

This article was submitted by Bill Popkin.

FootballGoalThe aroma of fresh-cooked hot dogs was in the air last Friday evening, August 26, 2016, in Kewanee, IL. The Morrison frosh-soph football team took to the field to open their season against their rivals to the south. A nice crowd was on hand, and the Ponies did not disappoint. They led throughout the contest.

Morrison was ahead at the half 6-2, and their  defense was up to the task, winning in the end by the final score of 12-10. Riley Wilkens was the top rusher for Morrison with 107 yards on 19 carries from his fullback position.

In a hard-fought game in the trenches, Morrison first got the football with a fumble recovery by Jackson Dubois at their own 29 yard line. Five plays later, Wilkens went over the goal line from a yard out, to give Morrison a 6-0 lead with 6:32 remaining in the opening quarter. The Ponies got the ball back on their own four yard line after stopping the Riveter's next drive. But, quarterback Owen Oetting was sacked in the end zone, for a safety on an attempted roll-out pass play. Morrison was up 6-2 after one quarter of play. Two drives by the locals were stopped later in the second frame, by a lost fumble and then an interception to end the first half of play. The Ponies  went into the locker room at halftime still up 6-2.

Neither squad could mount much of an offensive attack in the second half, until halfback Kolten Sage penetrated the left side of the line and scored from four yards out, with 3:18 left in the game. The extra point try failed. Not finished yet, Kewanee came right back on their next drive and tallied on a beautiful eight-yard pass from quarterback Kavon Russell to Billy Huggins, in the corner of the end zone. Bryce Garrigan converted the two points with a run to make the score 12-10. That would be all of the scoring in the contest, as both defenses played very well for the first game of the season.

Besides Wilkens, running backs Keegan Anderson had 54 yards on nine carries, while Jacob Schlegel added 45 yards on 10 totes of the pigskin. Balance!

Morrison's next game is at home against Princeton, IL, on Friday, September 2. Game time is 5:30 p.m.

Please come out and root for these local student-athletes and support their hard work.

Morrison       6-0-0-6=12
Kewanee      2-0-0-8=10   

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