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High School Football: Morgan destroys visiting Carbon in emotional homecoming game

Published: Friday, Sept. 27 2013 11:55 p.m. MDT

Ben Holland (#15) scores for Morgan. (Gary Weitzeil, Studio One Images) Ben Holland (#15) scores for Morgan. (Gary Weitzeil, Studio One Images)

A head football coach knows his team is having a good night when the cheerleaders actually get more exercise than his starting lineup.

That's what happened Friday night when the Carbon Dinos traveled north to face Morgan in the Trojans' homecoming game. Behind a balanced offensive attack and an inspired defense, the Trojans poleaxed the Dinos 61-0.

The Trojan cheerleaders do push-ups every time the team scores, and the team did plenty of scoring.

Morgan did not run an offensive play on its own side of the field the entire night. After a great opening kickoff return by Kade Carrigan started the Trojans off at the Dinos' 30-yard line, a three-play drive ended with a Ben Holland 15-yard TD rush, and 34 seconds into the game, Morgan led 7-0.

Morgan's defense plays inspired ball vs. Carbon. (Gary Weitzeil, Studio One Images) Morgan's defense plays inspired ball vs. Carbon. (Gary Weitzeil, Studio One Images)

"We got off to a good start today," said Morgan head coach Kovi Christiansen. "We came ready to play."

The juggernaut was just getting started as quarterback Ben Saunders completed five of nine passes in the first quarter, four of which went for touchdowns, and Morgan led 35-0 after the first period.

On the first play of the second quarter, Saunders completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Cluff to blow the lead out to 42-0, and the starters were done for the evening.

Meanwhile, the Trojan defense was stifling. Carbon did not cross midfield until seven minutes remained in the fourth quarter, and only picked up three first downs the entire game. In fact, Carbon only ran four plays in Morgan territory in the contest. The Dinos finished with no pass completions and -16 total yards of offense.

Morgan's Matt Murdock makes the catch. (Gary Weitzeil/Studio One Images) Morgan's Matt Murdock makes the catch. (Gary Weitzeil/Studio One Images)

With mostly JV players on the field in the second and third period, and freshmen and sophomores in the fourth, the team kept on making those cheerleaders do push-ups, tacking on three more touchdowns. All in all, the ladies ended up doing 311 push-ups on the night.

According to the coaching staff, 60 players dressed for the Trojans, and all 60 played in the game.

Saunders finished 6/11 with 143 yards and five touchdowns, three of which went to Carrigan. Other players scoring for the Trojans were Matt Murdock (8-yard TD reception), Parker Padelsky (5-yard run), Parker Lucas (9-yard TD run) and Chez Stout (50-yard run). Dallen Calder kicked six PATs, and Lukas Gray added one.

Stout led 11 different Trojan ball carriers with 84 yards. Morgan finished with 375 yards of total offense.

Carbon's sole highlight of the game was blocking two PAT attempts by the Trojans.

Morgan and Carbon players fight for the ball. (Gary Weitzeil, Studio One Images) Morgan and Carbon players fight for the ball. (Gary Weitzeil, Studio One Images)

It had been an emotional day at Morgan High School, where a student had experienced a family tragedy. "We were playing for a classmate who had a tragedy in his life," said Christiansen. "It was a good way for everyone to come together at a football game," he added.

Morgan plays next Friday at home vs. Union, while Carbon travels to Judge.

Chris VanCampen is a graduate of the University of Utah and Santa Clara Law School and practices law in Heber, is a father of four, an avid fly-fisherman, and announcer of many Morgan High School sports events. Email him at: cvcinutah@gmail.com.

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