Halloween is just around the corner, and the St. Cloud Tech Tigers are looking scary good. Led by senior running back Taylor Johnson, the Tigers rolled over the Bison of Buffalo. Johnson, crediting his offensive line, piled up 189 yards on 27 carries. Johnson scored once in the game, a 27-0 win for the Tigers.
The Tigers, coming off of a bye in round 1 of the section 8 (5A) playoffs, were ready for the Bison. The week off seemingly inspired a defense to record it's first shutout of the year.
"The week off helped a lot," Tigers head coach Greg Martig said. "We got Otis (Morris) back, and that should help."
Help? Morris is one of the elite corner backs in the area. And he showed just what he means to this defense late in the first quarter.
With Tech clinging to an early 3-0 lead, the Bison drove to the Tigers 20-yard line. On first down, Bison quarterback Brooks Beilke took to the air, lobbing a pass toward the back corner of the endzone. Morris, in single-man coverage (no safety help) played the ball perfectly and intercepted Beilke's pass.
Against his teammates and coaches wishes who were screaming at him to take a knee for a touchback, Morris ran out of the endzone. Good idea. Morris was tackled 54-yards later, and the Bison would not get that close again until the second half.
Morris, who looks like a typical shut-down corner at 5'8", 160-lbs. is anything but. He may be drawn to the ball, but he certainly never avoids contact.
On Buffalo's first possession of the third quarter, Morris made two tackles that most defensive backs would avoid. Dee Broadnax, Buffalo's big running back (6'0", 190-lbs) broke through the line only to be met by Morris. The young man doesn't back down from any pass or run.
On the same drive Morris showed his willingness to step in harm's way, the Tigers stopped the Bison on a fourth-and-two at the Tech 16-yard line. Broadnax was dropped inches from a first down, and the Bison were left to wonder what could have been.
St. Cloud Tech improves to 9-0 and will face Brainerd at 7 p.m. at the campus of St. Cloud State on Saturday, Nov. 3.
Buffalo finishes the season at 6-4.
Other games in Section 8 (5A)
Alexandria 21 - Brainerd 27