East County Sports

Tigers make full stop of Patriots

SHAMAR MARTIN is set to take off on a 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. / photo by Ramon Scott

2018 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

SAN DIEGO CIF DIVISION III SEMIFINALS

MORSE 34, CHRISTIAN 6

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

EL CAJON – The Morse Tigers seemed to have the same plan of attack to slow the Christian Patriots’ offense.

And this time, unlike their regular season meeting, the Pats would have no answer.

The Tigers, just like the last time, put up a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, but this go-round, they would make it stand and then some in a 34-6 San Diego CIF Division III semifinal win at El Cajon Valley High’s Priest Field on Friday night.

Morse’s defense was just fine the first time, providing a shutout most of the way until the Patriots pulled out a 14-8 win with a pair of scoring drives in the final minutes.

Christian High senior ALEX GONZALEZ runs with the ball against Morse. / photo by Ramon Scott

Christian High’s often explosive offense couldn’t get on track against the Tigers, whether it be straight ahead, or around the edge.

“We’ve lost to them the last five or five times at or near the last play of the game,” Morse coach Tracy McNair said. “we’ve always found a way to lose, this time we found a way to win.

“We did the same thing defensively and I told them, if we don’t make any mistakes on offense, we’ll win the game.”

And Morse’s stars made big plays and scoring plays, thwarting nearly any chance at momentum for the Patriots.

Isaiah Thompson scored the game’s first touchdown on a run on a direct snap from three yards, although the drive was primarily engineered by Tiger quarterback Shamar Martin.

Martin scored an 11-yard touchdown on a keeper in the second quarter, that was part-ballet, part-traffic director, as the spun and rolled right before sneaking in near the right pylon, extending the Tigers’ lead to 14-0.

Christian had chances to force Morse mistakes, but the Tigers kept coming away with the breaks and bounces.

In the third quarter, Morse senior Michael Wright circled under a dropped route and caught the ball almost like a punt, then weaved and dashed through the field of players for a 75-yard interception return, making it 22-0.

“We went out there, executed,  and shut ’em out early,” Wright said. “We studied film and we knew what we were going to see.”

Martin finished with 132 yards rushing, including a 50-yard touchdown in the fourth, while Thompson rushed for over 100 yards.

“We just had to tweak a few things and play hard,” Martin said. “We had to make sure we stopped their big play maker and that’s what we did.”

Morse (9-4) will face Central Union in the division championship game at 1 p.m. on Sept. 24 at DeVore Stadium.

Alex Gonzalez wrapped up a stellar season with a 62-yard score in the fourth quarter for Christian (10-2).

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