MCC Football Wins At Home Against TMB
The Murray County Central got off to a good start in Sleepy Eye for their first win of the 2020 football season. The Rebels knew things would get tougher in week two as they got to play host to the Tracy Milroy Balaton Panthers. The Panthers were coming off a win over MVL in their first game of the season. MCC was also looking to get some revenge on the Panthers after losing the last two matchups. The Rebels experienced roster were taking on a team with just a handful of seniors. The Rebels would use that experience to dominate the game.
The two teams played to a 0-0 draw in the first quarter as both teams struggled to find their offense. MCC was able to pick up some big plays in the first twelve minutes but they were not able to put back to back first downs together. The action would pick up in the second quarter. The Panthers got great field position after a fumble by the Rebels. The good field position wouldn’t last long. Noah Swenhaugen dropped back to pass and his throw was deflected by Brayden Ahlers who would intercept the pass and would outsprint a pair of Panthers to the endzone. The play covered just over 50 yards and the Rebels were on top for the first time. Abe Paulzine would convert the two point conversion and MCC led 8-0 with 9:26 remaining in the first half. The great play by Ahlers was just one of the many great plays the defense made over the course of the first half as MCC held the Panthers’ offense in check. Ayden Horner scored 4 touchdowns and ran for over 100 yards in week 1 and the Rebels made sure he didn’t do it against the purple. The Rebel’s offense would give the team two chances to score in the final nine minutes of the first half. The Rebels would get the football deep in their own territory after a Panther punt. Dylan Johnson hadn’t been used much in the first half in the running game but the senior would break a 60 yard run to get out of the shadow of the Panthers goal line. MCC would get a key first down pass to Dawson Tutt and soon it was Johnson scoring on a six yard run to make the score 14-0. On the two point conversion Blake Schmitz would throw a pass off a couple of handoffs to Abe Paulzine for a 16-0 lead. MCC would have another chance to score just before the end of the first half but the drive would fizzle at the 11 yard line. MCC would lead at the half 16-0.
The Panthers would get back in the game with a couple of huge plays from Christian Wendland who would make a big catch for a first down on a 3rd and long and would then pull in a one handed grab on a 16 yard touchdown pass. The two point conversion would fail but the Panthers were down 16-6 with 4:46 to play in the third quarter. The Rebels would hit back with a touchdown of their own with 53 seconds left in the quarter. The Blake Schmitz to Dawson Tutt passing connection was keeping the first downs coming but it was Dylan Johnson who was putting the points on the board. Johnson would score on a 17 yard run twisting past and running over Panthers on his way to paydirt. Blake Schmitz would convert the extra point and the Rebels would lead 23-6. Tutt wasn’t just catching Rebel passes he was catching passes from the Panthers as the Rebel recorded two interceptions in the game. MCC’s defense forced 3 turnovers in the game and held Ayden Horner to under 90 yards rushing. The Rebels would add one more touchdown midway through the 4th quarter and again it was Johnson scoring his 7th TD of the season in two games. The extra point put the Rebels up by the final score 30-6.
The Rebels dominated the game by not allowing the Panthers big plays. TMB had two big plays on the catches by Wendland for the most part that accounted for the big yardage plays. MCC outgained the Panthers 422 to 234 while forcing the 3 key turnovers. Dylan Johnson ran 18 times for 158 yards and 3 TDs but the Rebels were very balanced on offense. Blake Schmitz threw for 210 yards and Dawson Tutt caught 6 passes for 115 yards. The Rebels held Ayden Horner to 86 rushing yards on 22 carries while Swenhaugen threw for 73. The Rebels will now face one of if not their toughest competition of the season when they travel to Wabasso to take on the State ranked Rabbits Friday night.