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Chris Murphy, Published October 12 2012

No. 5-ranked Moorhead improves to 7-0 with football win

MOORHEAD – It wasn’t pretty, but the No. 5-ranked Moorhead football team stayed perfect on the season with a 25-15 win over Alexandria at Jim Gotta Stadium on Friday night in Minnesota high school football.

With three straight losses to Alexandria, Moorhead (7-0) doesn’t mind having a win that wasn’t exactly camera friendly.

“It wasn’t pretty at all,” Moorhead coach Kevin Feeney said. “It was a great accomplishment for our kids, but we have to learn how to put the dagger in. We need to make this a learning experience. We found out that if we don’t come out ready to play football, we’re like everybody else.”

The first half was not kind to the Alexandria (1-6) offense, as the Cardinals had 43 total yards and coughed up the ball three times on fumbles, two of which resulted in nine Moorhead points. On the third play of the game, the Cardinals fumbled the ball and Spuds defensive back Brandon Porter pounced on it on the Cardinals’ 26-yard line.

Five plays later, Jacob Wiedrich split the uprights from 33 yards out to give Moorhead a 3-0 lead. Alexandria lost the ball again late in the first quarter, fumbling on their own 14-yard line. Three plays later, on the second play of the second quarter, Spuds’ quarterback Aaron Lien faked out everyone in the stadium on a quarterback keeper and cruised into the end zone from five yards out. The extra point was blocked and the scored remained 9-0.

“It was huge to get good field position because that set us up for quick drives,” Lien said. “We feel like we let a couple games get away against them the past couple of years, especially since they’ve been down in recent years. It was good to get over that hump and actually get a win against them. We have to move on tomorrow and get ready for next week.”

After a three-and-out for Alexandria on the ensuing drive, Moorhead marched 50 yards in three minutes on 10 plays, capping the drive with a 2-yard rumble into the end zone for Drake Benedict to make it 16-0 at halftime.

On the opening drive of the second half, Chase Morlock fumbled and Alexandria’s Mitch De La Rosby pounced on it to give the Cardinals the ball at the Moorhead’s 17-yard line. The Cardinals, however, fumbled to give the ball right back to the Spuds three plays later on their own 37-yard line. Three plays after that, Benedict scampered into the end zone on an 11-yard touchdown drive to make it 23-0.

“The line did really good and I just followed them,” Benedict said. “It felt awesome to get that win, but we’ll keep working and hopefully we’ll show up better at the next game.”

Alexandria woke up late in the third, capping an eight-play, 50-yard drive with a one-yard TD plunge on fourth down for quarterback John Vogeler to make it 23-7 with just over five minutes left in the third. Nathan Huss picked off a Lien pass on the ensuing drive and the Cardinals made it hurt, scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run by Jake Bear to cut the lead to 23-13. Vogeler added the 2-point conversion and the Cardinals were within eight with 10 minutes, 41 seconds to play.

Another miscue sealed Alexandria’s fate, as a bad snap on a punt with 4:45 remaining in the game rolled out of the back of end zone for a safety, giving Moorhead a 25-15 lead and the ball and, all but wrapping up the game.

A 0 0 7 8–15

M 3 13 7 2–25

M-Wiedrich 33-yard field goal

M-Lien 5 run (kick blocked)

M-Benedict 2 run (Wiedrich kick)

M-Benedict 11 run (Wiedrich kick)

A-Vogeler 1 run (Davis kick)

A-Bear 3 run (Vogeler run)

M–Safety

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: M, Lien 2-6, Magnusson 3-16, Benedict 13-62, Morlock 16-142, Lawrence 8-48. A, Vogeler 14-22, Knoblach 1-8, Peck 8-33, Jodsass 2-6, Bear 8-22.

PASSING: M, Lien 7-20-2-84. A, Vogeler 13-21-0-141.

RECEIVING: M, B. Lawrence 2-20, Porter 3-36, Wheeler 1-26, Morlock 1-2. A, Bear 4-34, Huss 1-5, Steidl 4-52, Knoblach 1-10, Peck 1-5, Jodsass 2-35

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548