A blur of brown and white tore up Memorial Stadium Friday night as the JCA Hilltoppers blew past the Redskins for a 51-15 victory.
Things started well for Morris as running back Stephen Wagner scored the first touchdown of the night, tumbling 4 yards to the end zone. David Balzer’s PAT kick set the score, with 3 minutes and 9 seconds left in the first.
The Hilltoppers, however, did not wait long to turn on the heat. Fullback Brandon Geiss sliced through the Redskins, a lone man cruising 16 yards for the touchdown.
A botched snap left the score 7 to 6 – until John Ruettiger faked a hand off broke free to the side and ran in from 11 yards. With 5 minutes and 37 seconds left in the second quarter, Geiss started to move again, but was intercepted by Zach Thetard. With the 6’2” Redskin coming straight at him, Geiss took a chance and launched the ball. Linebacker Jake Stockman picked the ball off the 40-yard line, fought his way out of double coverage, and brought the crowd to its feet with a 60-yard blitz to the end zone. Connor Krisch tacked on the 2 point run, putting the score at 22-7.
The half time break was a boost for Morris, who had spent the first two quarters scrambling to keep their plays together. If ever a Redskin deserved time to recharge it was Thetard, who was slamming his way across the field keeping watch over Geiss, the nimble 5’8” senior who spent the night blowing through the Redskins’ defense.
With 4 minutes 26 seconds left in the third, Thetard held the ball between two defenders, railing his way to a touchdown. Time was running out when Geiss worked his magic again, charging through the middle from the Redskin’s 16-yard line. Morris was floundering on the field, and when an injured Thetard pulled out of the game only 13 seconds before the fourth, the Redskins’ hopes – and their fans in the visitors stands – left the stadium.
The Hilltoppers danced their way through the rest of the game, scoring another 21 points in the fourth before burning out the clock. No doubt about it - the JCA season has arrived.