WASHINGTON – In the first half Friday night, it looked like the Morris football team was going to come away from its first road game with a fairly easy victory over Washington. The Redskins led by 13 points at halftime, and outgained the Panthers, 129-37, in total yards, holding them to one first down.
But Morris found the going much tougher after halftime. The Washington defense limiting the Redskins to just 62 yards in the second half while the offense rallied to send Morris to a 19-13 overtime loss.
The Redskins got on the board in the first quarter with a 1-yard run by Keagan Sobol, and the extra point by Luis Luna gave Morris (1-1) a 7-0 lead. Late in the first quarter, Nathan Guth intercepted a pass, a play that led to an 18-yard touchdown run by Michael Feeney in the second quarter. The kick failed, but the TD gave Morris a 13-0 lead going into halftime.
“We played well in the first half,” Morris coach Alan Thorson said. “And, our defense was dominant for the first three quarters.”
Besides Guth’s interception, the Redskins got a sack each by Feeney and Kyle Overton, while Will Ringer led the club with 11 tackles.
Offensively, Michael Gerischer led the Redskins with 101 rushing yards on 15 carries, Feeney had 80 yards on 10 carries and Sobol ran nine times for 26 yards.
Guth was 5 of 9 for 93 yards through the air. Sobol caught three passes for 53 yards, with Tommy Balentine grabbing two passes for 40.
The fly in the ointment for Morris was the yellow flags, as the Redskins were whistled for 10 penalties totaling 66 yards.
“Penalties killed us,” Thorson said. “We had way too many false start and holding penalties. We had a lot of trouble moving the ball in the fourth quarter and we stalled inside our own 20 a couple of times. We also were in their red zone three times, but penalties moved us out. We need to get better and clean up the fundamental stuff.”
Washington started its comeback with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Brock Crowthers to Luke Strong, then tied the score on a 17-yard TD run by Randy Meneweather. The extra point kick on Meneweather’s touchdown failed, keeping the score tied. Washington had a chance to win the game in regulation, but a 20-yard field goal attempt was wide.
In overtime, Morris got the ball first, but fumbled on the first play. Meneweather scored the winning touchdown on the second play of Washington’s possession from two yards out.
“This was a disappointing loss,” Thorson said. “Give Washington credit for not quitting, but we let this one go.”