Diverse Mohawks roll to win

MORLEY — Opposing defenses hoping to slow down the Morley Stanwood offense will have one more thing to worry about this season. The Mohawks have a passing game.

Morley Stanwood went to the air early against Chippewa Hills in building a 28-0 first half lead, picking up a 35-6 win over the Warriors on Friday.

Morley Stanwood coach Clark Huntey credited the more diverse offense to the trust he has in senior signal-caller Travis Zajkowski.

“He’s a smart kid who’s getting stronger every week,” Huntey said. “I feel more than confident in him with the ball in his hands. We’ve got three or four receivers that make us a little tougher to defend.”

BIG YARDS: Morley Stanwood's Tyler Hanks maks his way toward the endzone on Friday. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

Zajkowski passed for 222 yards and a score on 9-of-17 passing. Morley Stanwood got four catches for 122 yards from running back Tyler Hanks, while running back Adam Wheeler had 100 yards receiving on three catches.

The senior quarterback said he feels more comfortable commanding the offense this year and expects the Mohawks to be tougher to game plan for with a stronger passing attack.

“Last year I didn’t get as many chances to throw the ball,” he said. “I like having a little bit more control and being able to have an impact on the offense.”

The Mohawks got on the board early on the third play of the game — a 63-yard touchdown run by Steven Hopkins with 10:55 in the first quarter.

The Mohawks were able to contain the Chippewa Hills offense that was ineffective in the first half, with the exception of a 36-yard pass from Jake Tarbell to Trent Karcher. The Warriors had just 159 yards of total offense for the game.

Morley Stanwood punched the ball in with 2:51 remaining in the first quarter on a 4-yard run by Adam Wheeler to make it 14-0. The touchdown was set up by both Wheeler and Hanks catches in the passing game.

Despite having some chances to put points on the board, Chippewa Hills was unable to capitalize on a pair of fake punts by Morley Stanwood that were stopped in Mohawk territory, as well as a Zajkowski interception in the back of the endzone.

Chippewa Hills coach Larry Jose said injuries have hurt the Warriors’ offense. He credited the Mohawks, however, for playing sound defense the entire 48 minutes.

“We’ve got to be able to get first downs,” he said. “Penalties and some other things took us out of phase on offense. We just couldn’t put a full drive together.”

Morley Stanwood would continue to pound the ball on offense, led by Hopkins, who finished with 84 yards on 10 carries, while mixing in pass plays out of the spread attack.

Hanks would put the Mohawks on the board on a 1-yard plunge to make it 21-0 with 8:23 remaining in the second quarter.

Zajkowski would then hook up with Hanks on a 61-yard touchdown pass to deflate the Warriors hopes of staying in the game with just four seconds before halftime.

Hanks said it is exciting to be utilized in both the passing and rushing game.

“Travis (Zajkowski) has been working hard on learning to throw and read the defense,” he said. “We worked together on that throughout the summer. It’s a new change for us at Morley. We’ve never run the spread, but it’s good to see.”

Huntey said despite a couple of turnovers in the first half, he was happy with how the offense performed in both facets of the game.

“We actually ran the ball fairly well in the first half,” he said. “They started to bring a few more guys blitzing, so we went to some more spread to try and keep them back a little bit. We were able to get some guys open and make some big plays.”

Morley Stanwood would control the clock in the second half, scoring on a 1-yard run by Hopkins to make it 35-0.

Chippewa Hills would get on the board late on a 3-yard touchdown run by Latear Dukes to make it 35-6.

The Mohawks now look ahead to a critical game in Central State Activities Association play on Friday when they take on Reed City (3-0) in a game that could be a major factor in who brings home the conference title.

Huntey said there are some things his team needs to work on to prepare for the Coyotes.

“We had some penalties (Friday) that we need to clean up,” he said. “We came out of this game healthy, so we just need to stick to our game plan.”

 

MORLEY STANWOOD 35, CHIPPEWA HILLS 6

MS 14 14 7 0 — 35

CH 0 0 0 6 — 6

Scoring

First quarter

MS- Steven Hopkins 63 run (Tyler Wilcox kick), 10:55

MS- Adam Wheeler 4 run (Wilcox kick), 2:51

Second quarter

MS- Tyler Hanks 1 run (Wilcox kick), 8:23

MS- Hanks 61 pass from Zajkowski (Wilcox kick), 0:04

Third quarter

MS- Hopkins 1 run (Wilcox kick), 4:33

Fourth quarter

CH- Latear Dukes 3 run (pass failed), 3:45

Individual statistics

Rushing: Morley Stanwood 35-189 (Hanks 10-67, Wheeler 7-26, Hopkins 10-84, Tylee Boyce-Burden 3-8, Colton Dillree 2-2, Sean Higley 2-2). Chippewa Hills 34-82 (Mark Miller 8-36, Dukes 7-34, Johnny Wernette 5-12).

Passing: Morley Stanwood: Zajkowski 9-17 222-1. Chippewa Hills: Jake Tarbell 4-10-72-1, Austin Hollenbeck 0-5-0-1.

Receiving: Morley Stanwood: Hanks 4-122, Wheeler 3-100. Chippewa Hills: Trent Karcher 2-64, Chris VanCuren 1-8.

 

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