It’s not often a player rushes for 189 yards, scores five touchdowns and throws for another.
It’s even rarer when all that transpires and the player in question winds up on the short end of the final score. But that’s what happened to St. Cloud Tech senior running back Jacob Peterson Friday night.
Peterson did all of the above — and set a school record for career touchdowns (32) in the process. But Moorhead scored the game’s final three touchdowns to spoil homecoming for the Tigers with a 48-40 victory at St. Cloud State’s Husky Stadium.
“It’s a disappointing game in my eyes,” said Peterson, who carried the ball 44 times — and twice left the field after being banged up — as his team fell to 3-2 overall.
“We have the chance to run with any team in the state this season. We just came up a little short tonight.”
Tech led much of the game, and went up by 14 when Peterson scored on a 9-yard touchdown run at the 8:33 mark of the third quarter. The Tigers had the chance to expand that margin when junior Austin Klaverkamp picked off a pass on Moorhead’s next possession.
Tech then marched all the way to the Spuds’ 29 before turning the ball over on downs.
And on the very next play, Moorhead senior Chase Morlock rumbled 71 yards for a touchdown to cut the gap to 34-27.
“That was a big play,” Tigers junior defensive back Philip Amundson said. “We had all the momentum at that point, but we couldn’t keep it going.
” They got the ball back and scored, and it was a complete swing. They rode the momentum the rest of the game.”
Peterson, who had three first-half touchdowns including an 86-yard kickoff return, as Tech built a 27-20 halftime lead.
Peterson struck again with a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers on top 40-27 with 3:06 to play in the third quarter.
But the rest of the game belonged to the Spuds. Morlock scored on a 7-yard run with 1:24 to play in the third quarter, then senior quarterback Austin Lien scored on a 23-yard run with 6:08 to play that put his team in front for the first time at 41-40.
Tech drove inside the Moorhead 25 on its next possession, but turned the ball over on downs. And Morlock promptly rattled off a 70-yard touchdown run for the game’s final score.
“I think our team realized the urgency in the second half,” said Morlock, who finished with 15 carries for 196 yards and three touchdowns as his team — ranked No. 7 in the state in Class 5A — improved to 5-0. “We didn’t want to lose and we kept fighting.”
Tech had one final chance after getting the ball back with 1:06 to play. But the Spuds picked off junior quarterback Jay Kedrowski to seal the win.
“They had a short field to work with most of the second half,” Tigers coach Gregg Martig said. “Whether it was because of special teams play, not getting first downs on offense or turnovers, I don’t think they started too many drives with a long way to go. That hurt.”
Peterson, who finished the game just shy of becoming the school’s career rushing leader, agreed with that assessment.
“We made too many mistakes,” Peterson said. “We put them up on that high pedestal and got them all hyped up in the second half. Turnovers and simple mistakes just killed us tonight.”
Tech plays next week against Sartell in a key Central Lakes Confrerence game at 7 p.m. Friday at Husky Stadium. Sartell 2-1 in conference play and the Sabres are 4-1 overall after a 35-28 loss to Fergus Falls.
SCT — Jacob Peterson 27 run (kick failed)
M — Aaron Lien 1 run (kick failed)
SCT — Peterson 86 kickoff return (Riley Bates pass from Jay Kedrowski)
SCT — Kedrowski 6 pass from Peterson (kick blocked)
M — Brandon Porter 85 kickoff return (Jacob Wiedrich kick)
M — Jade Lawrence 7 run (Wiedrich kick)
SCT — Peterson 1 run (Irvin Rivera kick)
SCT — Peterson 9 run (Rivera kick)
M — Chase Morlock 71 run (Wiedrich kick)
SCT — Peterson 3 run (kick failed)
M — Morlock 7 run (Wiedrich kick)
M — Lien 23 run (Wiedrich kick)
M — Morlock 70 run (Wiedrich kick)
Rushing: M — Morlock 15-196, J. Lawrence 7-43, Porter 3-36, Lien 5-7, Will Rage 2-5; Totals: 32-287; SCT — Peterson 44-189, Tanner Skaja 4-26, Kedrowski 2-5, Brennan Paulsen 1-3; Totals: 51-223.
Passing: M — Lien 6-13-1 85; SCT — Kedrowski 15-28-2 154, Peterson 1-2-0 6; Totals: 16-30-2 160.
Receiving: M — Porter 3-36, J. Lawrence 1-22, Brett Lawrence 1-22, Rage 1-5; Totals: 6-85; SCT — Peterson 4-46, Jake Martig 4-44, Skaja 3-28, Austin Klaverkamp 1-16, Emmanuel Fale 1-11, Bates 1-7, Kedrowski 1-6, Paulsen 1-2; Totals: 16-160.