Tarek Morrison returns as Desert Ridge rolls - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Desert Ridge 56, Millennium 0 Tarek Morrison returns as Desert Ridge rolls

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Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:15 am | Updated: 1:20 am, Sat Sep 21, 2013.

Desert Ridge was already one of the elite teams in the state.

But the Jaguars might have become even better when junior quarterback Tarek Morrison made his season debut Friday at home after being sidelined with a torn ACL suffered in last year's playoffs.

Morrison came in on the Jaguars second possession of the game. He aired it out hitting his twin brother Taren Morrison (2 catches for 77 yards) in stride for a 52 yard gain to set up a touchdown. Tarek accounted for three touchdowns, he rushed for 42 yards on five rushes and scored on touchdown runs of 5 and 15 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass hitting Alec Hathcock wide open in the end zone for a 20 yard strike. Tarek clicked on 4 of 7 passes for 106 yards.

"To hold anybody under 100 yards is great, our defense has been a strength, it's nice for our ball-control offense," Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock said. "It sure was nice to have Tarek (Morrison) back. He took the first hit and did a nice job having not playing in over nine months, he showed his usual speed and great arm. I just felt like the time was right for his return."

The Jaguars set the tone taking the opening kickoff and marching 70 yards in nine plays. Sophomore quarterback Tate Shumway on 4th-and-15 hit Taren Morrison for a 27 yard gain and a first down. Then Danny Simau scored the first of his three touchdown all coming in the first half. After they forced Millennium three and out. Desert Ridge with Tarek Morrison in drove 68 yards capped off by his five yard run and Nathanial Rodriquez conversion to lead 14-0 after the opening quarter.

"It felt great, I just started full practice a week ago, it was amazing to be back on the field," Tarek Morrison said. "All my nerves I felt just went away once I was in the game."

The Jaguars erupted for 28 second-quarter points to open the flood gates, including two touchdowns 11 seconds apart. Simau had a 6-yard scamper and then the Tigers fumbled the kickoff at the 1-yard line and Simau found paydirt again on a plunge.

Later, Tarek Morrison converted a fourth-and-6 on a quarterback keeper to keep the drive alive, then Hathcock hauled in a 27-yard pass from Morrison to set up Hathcock's 1-yard run. Another costly fumble by Millennium 52 seconds later saw Hathcock catch a 20-yard TD from Morrison to give Desert Ridge a 42-0 cushion at intermission.

Hathcock had two receptions for 47 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.

"Tarek is real dynamic, a dual threat," said Alec Hathcock. "We are running a new offense and Tarek found me on a wheel route wide open just sitting in the end zone."

Adrian Barrett had a sack for the Jaguars right before halftime to preserve the shutout. The Tigers were pushed back and fumbled the snap on a 35-yard field goal try.

With a running clock in the second half, Desert Ridge would add two fourth quarter touchdowns on Tarek Morison's 15 yard run and Justin Irby had a 51-yard TD run to close out the scoring. Landon Whitlow drilled all six PAT kicks.

"Ever since we saw the speed of Serra, everyone has looked slower," Jeremy Hathcock said. "Our offensive line (Fou Lli, Justin Maza, Justin Leeper, Chandler Kinser and Austin King) again blew it up. They are not that big, they get off the ball and just get after it. They remind me of the Mountain View great line in the early 2000s."

One setback for Desert Ridge was starting linebacker Amonai Itaaehau being ejected from the game for a unsportsman-like conduct penalty. He will miss the next Friday when the Jaguars play Brophy.

Desert Ridge 56, Millennium 0

First Downs:  DR 16, M 7

Rushing:  DR 38-267, M 19-52

Passing (Comp.-Att.-Yds.-TD-INT):  DR 6-11-148-1-0, M 9-13-47-0-0

Penalties:  DR 3-25, M 1-5

Fumbles-lost:  DR 0-0, M 4-2

Millennium       0  0  0  0 - 0

Desert Ridge 14 28 0 14 - 56

DR: Simau 9 run (kick failed)

DR: Tarek Morrison 5 run (Rodriquez run)

DR: Simau 6 run (Whitlow kick)

DR: Simau 1 run (Whitlow kick)

DR: Hathcock 1 run (Whitlow kick)

DR: Hathcock 20 yard pass from Morrison (Whitlow kick)

DR: Tarek Morrison 15 run (Whitlow kick)

DR: Justin Irby 51 run (Whitlow kick)

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]