Sports round-up 2011.09.21

Written by David Green.

MORENCI FOOTBALL: Madison turned the ball over; Morenci took advantage of the gift.

Four fumbles lost, three passes given away—the Bulldogs (3-1) used those to claim a 39-6 TCC victory over the Trojans (1-3) for their second league win of the season.

It was only a win for Morenci Friday night. The team also experienced a loss. Senior Max Gautz, a leader on both sides of the ball, suffered what his doctor believes is a torn ACL in his knee. If that’s the case, his season ended on the fourth-quarter punt return when he was injured.

Someone had to step up and fill the gap after his injury, said Bulldog coach Taz Wallace, and that’s what needs to be done Friday when Morenci travels to Summerfield.

Wallace was pleased with his squad’s performance Friday.

“I think we played well,” he said. “We gave a good, physical game. We made some mistakes and we still need to eliminate penalties. We’ve doing a better job of it.”

After Austin Sandusky intercepted a Madison pass in the first quarter, the Bulldogs needed only four plays to reach the end zone. Gautz scored on a five-yard run.

Cody Powell intercepted next and led Morenci on a 10-play scoring drive. Sandusky carried the final two yards.

In the second quarter, Morenci got possession on a fumble and drove 47 yards to the goal line. Hayze Wolf brought in a pass from Powell for a 27-yard scoring play.

Sandusky scored from four yards out in the third quarter and the Bulldogs took a 27-0 lead. After the injury to Gautz, Morenci moved the ball 74 yards to score, with Sandusky sprinting the final 28 yards.

In the fourth quarter, Jay Howard intercepted and raced 53 yards for a touchdown.

Lucas Hollstein led the defensive effort with 10 tackles and a pair of fumble recoveries. Wolf and Howard were each in on seven tackles. Simon Jeffers notched four solo tackles.

Coach Wallace was pleased with his team’s pass defense, pressuring the quarterback who completed just three of 22 attempts.

Sandusky was the leading ball carrier with 77 yards, followed by Gautz with 60 and KC Clegg with 53.

MORENCI JV FOOTBALL: Morenci’s JV football team racked up the points last week at Madison, but they weren’t the only ones. Madison followed suit in the 56-42 win for the Bulldogs.

After leading by only 22-18 late in the second quarter, Morenci scored 14 points in the final 26 seconds of the half to take a 36-18 lead.

The Bulldogs scored again early in the third quarter, but Madison scored the next two touchdowns to keep the game interesting. 

Both teams added more points in the fourth.

Colin Smith scored on runs of 52 yards, 70 yards, five yards and 12 yards. He ran two conversions.

Smith passed to Derrick Tule for a 12-yard touchdown and to Daiton Lemmon for a 28-yard touchdown.

Chris Hinkley scored on a 75-yard kickoff return and Torin Merillat scored on a three-yard run. Merillat also had a conversion run.

Smith completed three of three passing attempts for 45 yards. Morenci tallied 401 yards of rushing behind the offensive line of Shawn Feltz, Malachi Hoffman, Nicholas Pless, Hunter Borton, Jacob Morin, Tule and Lemmon.

Smith rushed for 276 yards on 18 attempts. Michael Heinze added 74 yards on 10 attempts.

On defense, Nick Stutzman led with nine tackles. Hinkley made three interceptions and Dalton McCowan made two fumble recoveries.

“We blocked well and ran the ball well,” said coach Dan Hoffman, “but we certainly need to improve tackling.”

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Morenci swept a pair of matches from Sand Creek Sept. 13 to open the league season.

The victories move the Bulldogs’ overall record to 8-4-1.

“We had almost two weeks off and I was worried we might be stale,” said coach Dennis Owens, “but I was really pleased with our effort.”

He said he Bulldogs were a little slow with their blocking and serve reception was not what it should have been, but there was plenty to like.

“Everyone served well and our back row movement was the best of the season,” he said.

Brooke Bovee had a fantastic night at the net, Owens said, with 41 kills and a block, and the whole team served well.

Morenci took the opener 25-12, 23-25, 25-13, 22-25, 15-4, then followed with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 win.

Passing: Hannah Jeffers, 27 digs, 29/36 service reception; Erin Vanderpool, 25 digs, 30/31 service reception.

Serving: Matea Garcia, 49/50, 7 aces, 39 service points; Jeffers, 33/36, 5 aces, 23 points; Carolyn Blaker, 26/26, 4 aces, 15 points; Bovee, 25-25, 4 aces, 12 points

Setting: Garcia, 28 assists; Bovee, 11 assists

Hitting: Bovee, 41 kills, 1 block; Garcia, 9 kills; Chelsea Phillips, 7 kills, 3 blocks.

MORENCI JV VOLLEYBALL: Morenci’s JV volleyball team members continue to improve their game as they spilt their pool play matches Saturday at Hudson tournament.

In pool play, the Bulldogs lost a close match to Jackson Northwest, 24-25, 25-22, 18-25, then came back to defeat Lenawee Christian School, 25-24, 25-18, 19-25.

Hudson knocked them out of the tournament in the semifinals of the Silver Division, 16-25, 21-25.

Ali Piercy scored 13 kills and went 17/18 from the serving line. Melissa Burk scored 14 kills and Rebecca Heinze added 11, including four block kills.

Hilary Falor missed only one of 31 serves and Emma Binegar had 12 setting assists.

In a loss Sept. 13 to Sand Creek,  libero Julie Terry led the defensive effort with her leadership and a strong game.

In a double-header loss to Whiteford on Thursday, Falor was perfect from the serving line at 18/18 and Piercy went 10/10. Binegar scored nine kills and was good on 56 of 57 setting attempts.

The JVs’ record stands at 2-10.

MIDDLE SCHOOL—Morenci’s middle school volleyball teams both scored victories Monday against Sand Creek to open the 2011 season. 

The girls are coached by Ashley Joughin and Kay Johnson.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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