By: Wm. Michael Dixon
Tribune Recorder Leader
The Deckerville Eagles drew homefield advantage for their first game of the playoffs this past Friday when they faced off against the Morrice Orioles. The Orioles drew first blood after forcing the Eagles to punt it away on their opening drive. The Eagles answered back with a thirty-eight yard touchdown run on their next possession to tie things up at 6-6. The two would trade blows back and forth with Deckerville holding a slight edge over the Morrice squad at halftime 26-18. Deckerville added one more score in the third quarter while Morrice added two plus a conversion to theirs to bring the score to an even 32-32 to start the fourth quarter. The Eagles marched the ball down the field in the fourth quarter and got stopped just short of the goal line on their 17th play of the drive. The Eagles wore down the Orioles defense and on the 18th and final play of the drive Hunter Garza runs in the touchdown on fourth down with less than a yard to go to retake the lead. Garza then found Logan Shanks in the end zone for the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 40-32.
The Orioles wasted no time in responding, running the ball down the field and into the end zone. The Orioles’ conversion attempt was good and the score was tied 40-40.
The Eagles had one more shot to put the game out of reach as time was ticking down and Dylan Ball seized the opportunity, breaking free for a massive seventy-five yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 46-40 lead and the win over the Morrice Orioles.
Dylan Ball was the difference maker in this one, rushing for 207 yards on 30 carries and two touchdowns including the game winner. Hunter Garza also racked up the yards in the air and on the ground, throwing 154 yards and two touchdowns on twelve completions and 134 yards with three touchdowns on 22 carries on the ground. Parker Merriman had six catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Logan Martin had 39 yards on a brilliant one handed catch and a touchdown. The Eagles improved to 8-2 on the season with the win over Morrice and now set their sights on the Portland St. Patrick Shamrocks this Saturday. Kickoff will be at 2 pm at Portland High School, tickets must be purchased ahead of time on gofan.co