Chris Murphy, Published September 13 2013
Spuds start fast en route to win
“Every game the ball comes at me and I just tip it,” Andersen said. “It comes right to my hands, and I just can’t catch it.”
Andersen didn’t get the interception, but his tipped pass fell right into the hands of Tyler Eidsness, who took it back 22 yards to put the Spuds up 12 just 1 minute, 17 seconds into the game en route to a 34-20 win over Grand Rapids.
Andersen even got his first interception later to go along with his three carries for 35 yards, 30 of which came on a touchdown run.
“Coaches were telling us to fly around,” Andersen said. “I flew around and made plays where I could.”
Moorhead flew out of the gates on the wings of Jade Lawrence, who took the opening kick 91 yards for a touchdown to put the Spuds up 6-0. Andersen wasn’t the only one reminiscing about drops.
“I dropped three kickoffs last week, so I had to get something going,” Lawrence said. “It was a solid, overall win. It might not have been the prettiest win, but a win is a win is a win. That’s what we’re looking for.”
On the second play of the ensuing drive, Moorhead (2-1) made it 12-0 on the Eidsness interception. After a Grand Rapids (0-3) punt on the next possession, Andersen went 30 yards to put Moorhead up 19-0 after four plays from scrimmage for the Spuds offense and less than eight minutes into the game. After a 27-20 loss to St. Cloud Apollo in Week 2, a quick start was just what the doctor ordered for the Spuds.
“Any time you have to go through six days of football after playing a football game you’re not capable of, you want to come out and execute the next game, and I thought our kids did a really good job of that,” Moorhead coach Kevin Feeney said.
Grand Rapids wouldn’t go quietly. On fourth-and-3, Thunderhawks quarterback Jackson Gessell went 31 yards to get the Thunderhawks on the board less than two minutes into the second quarter. Lawrence fumbled the ball on Moorhead’s first play on the ensuing drive and Gessell made the Spuds pay four plays later on a 19-yard touchdown run to make it a 19-14 game.
“Coaches were in our ears telling us to keep going and you just have to keep going at it after big plays,” Lawrence said.
Moorhead answered right back on the ensuing drive, capping a six-play, 60-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge from Drew Gotta. Spuds added a 2-point conversion and took a 27-14 lead into the half.
Eidsness had a 35-yard touchdown run with 10 minutes, 46 seconds to go to put the Spuds up 34-14. Grand Rapids made it 34-20 on Gessell’s third touchdown run with 5:13 left and recovered an onside kick, but Eidsness came down with an interception at the Moorhead 1-yard line two plays later to squash any hopes of a comeback for the Thunderhawks.
Moorhead has back-to-back weeks versus Class 5A, Section 8 teams in St. Cloud Tech and Sauk Rapids-Rice.
“We’ve got some big stuff coming up,” Feeney said. “We got to get a lot more disciplined. We had some untimely penalties and unfocused stuff that happened throughout the second half. We have to play four quarters.”
G 0 14 0 6–34
M 19 8 0 7–20
M-J. Lawrence 91 kick return (kick no good)
M-Eidsness 22 interception return (run no good)
M-Andersen 30 run (Wiedrich kick)
G-Gessell 31 run (Pollock kick)
G-Gessell 19 run (Pollock kick)
M-Gotta 1 run (pass good)
M-J. Lawrence 35 run (Wiedrich kick)
G-Gessell 1 run (kick no good)
RUSHING: G, Peterson 18-86, Gessell 17-114, Huebscher 4-4, Hocking 2-12, Yurrick 1-0. M, Gotta 7-33, Andersen 3-35, Eidsness 2-(-4), J. Lawrence 4-32, Duginski 5-38, Rage 2-16.
PASSING: G, Gessell 5-15-3 23 yards. M, Eidsness 7-12-1 98 yards, Bye 0-2-0.
RECEIVING: G, Hopewell 1-3, Johnson 2-12, Koss 1-2, Chandler 1-6. M, B. Lawrence 6-86, Nelson 1-12.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548