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Chris Murphy, Published August 30 2013

Moorhead wins first ever conference football game over Alexandria 28-12

MOORHEAD – Jade Lawrence knows whose cleats he has to fill for Moorhead.

As a sophomore, he witnessed Chase Morlock rush for more than 1,800 yards and score 30 touchdowns, while leading the defense at linebacker with his own eyes last season. He was there. He knows.

“I don’t know how to replace Chase Morlock,” Lawrence said. “You have to try to mirror like he does. You’re going to hear about it, because of what Chase did. People aren’t going to forget about it.”

Lawrence is ready to leave his own cleats to fill, as he ran for 94 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown and added a fumble recovery on defense in Moorhead’s 28-12 win over Alexandria in the season opener for both teams Friday at Jim Gotta Stadium.

Lawrence wasn’t the only one with something to prove, as quarterback Tyler Eidsness had some cleats to fill of his own in the form of Aaron Lien. Eidsness was 6-for-6 passing for 91 yards and a touchdown to go along with a 10-yard touchdown run and an interception on defense.

“We’ve heard about what we were losing a lot in the offseason,” Eidsness said. “Those were great guys. They were the heart and soul of the team last year. That’s why we worked hard in the offseason to fill their spots. I think we did it.”

With 31 seniors graduating, there are a lot of cleats to fill. And opening the season with their first-ever Central Lakes North conference game left very little time for experimentation at positions for the Spuds.

“This is huge for this football team because there’s no 25 (Morlock) and there’s no 14 (Lien) in our backfield anymore,” Moorhead coach Kevin Feeney said. “This is a big ‘W’ against a very good football team.”

Moorhead got a rude welcome to conference football, as Alexandria quarterback John Vogeler went 76 yards for a touchdown on the Cardinals’ second play of the game. The extra point was blocked, and 37 seconds into the season the Spuds were down 6-0.

It was nothing that the bunch of new starters hadn’t seen before.

“Last year, we gave up the opening kickoff return and then the next kickoff return, so we’ve been down one or two plays,” Eidsness said. “We know how that feels. We weren’t afraid, we weren’t shocked and we just kept playing football.”

Nothing like a punch in the mouth to mature a football team pretty quickly.

“A little adversity right out of the gate, but our defense held it there and stepped up,” Feeney said. “It was just a busted play, and we’ll take giving up just one big play in a game.”

Eight minutes later, Lawrence took it 30 yards to put Moorhead up 7-6. After Lawrence recovered a fumble on the ensuing drive, Eidsness found the end zone on a 10-yard run. Moorhead went 67 yards on three plays in their second drive of the second half, capping it off with a 53-yard touchdown pass from Eidsness to Jade Lawrence’s older brother Brett. With just under 10 minutes left, Will Rage shut the door with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 28-6.

“Everyone came together and played a great game of football,” Eidsness said. “When we clean up the mistakes, we’ll be pretty solid.”

A 6 0 0 6–12

M 7 7 7 7–28

A-Vogeler 76 run (kick blocked)

M-J.Lawrence 30 run (Wiedrich kick)

M-Eidsness 10 run (Wiedrich kick)

M-Lawrence 53 catch from Eidsness (Wiedrich kick)

M-Rage 3 run (Wiedrich kick)

A-Setterstrom 14 catch from Vogeler (run no good)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: A, Peck 19-57, Vogeler 25-156. M, Bye 1-(-7), Eidsness 1-10, J. Lawrence 14-94, Eggert 3-21, Gotta 6-16, Duginski 7-7, Rage 3-17, Klindt 1-1.

PASSING: A, Vogeler 8-20-1 155 yards. M, Eidsness 6-6-0 91 yards, Bye 1-1-0 8 yards.

RECEIVING: A, Bowden 1-20, Steidl 3-62, Hvezda 2-19, Setterstrom 1-14, Krivanek 1-25. M, Eggert 3-16, B. Lawrence 3-75, Gotta 1-8.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548