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Mustangs cruise to win over Princeton in season opener

Tigers commit 8 turnovers

MORRISON – The game picked up right where it left off, and the final 42:59 went just as the first 5:01 did.

The Morrison Mustangs (1-0) beat the visiting Princeton Tigers (0-1) 46-0 Saturday, when the two teams resumed play of the game postponed due to lightning Friday night.

Saturday's first play came with 6:59 left in the first quarter, with Morrison with the ball on the Princeton 17-yard line. Saturday's second play was a two-point conversion following junior Mason Sitzmore's 17-yard touchdown run.

Morrison head coach Cory Bielema said he changed his mind several times over the night on what play to start with on Saturday, ultimately deciding on an option.

"I knew if we could get the ball into the end zone on that series right there, after the traveling that Princeton had to do, it was really going to take a lot of wind out of their sails," he said. "We did a good job, came out and got that and continued to kind of build on that through the first half."

At half, Morrison led 39-0, thanks to two rushing touchdowns from Sitzmore and sophomore Andy Bird, plus a rushing and passing touchdown from sophomore quarterback Joey Brackemyer.

Brackemyer connected with senior Kurtis Klimson for a 16-yard touchdown with 32.3 seconds left in the first half. The extra-point conversion missed, and the running clock, which is instituted with a 40-point lead, would have to wait until the second half.

It was the first varsity action for many Mustangs, including Bird and Brackemyer, who combined for five total touchdowns. Their first varsity game was paused not too long after it started, and they said that added a few more nerves for Saturday's portion of the game.

"We came out hot last night, scored on them in four plays and we were ready to go," Brackemyer said. "And then that lightning [delay] hit and I felt like it was going to slow us down, but we just came out with the same intensity as we did the night before."

Princeton turned the ball over eight times in the game, six fumbles lost and two interceptions. At halftime, the Tigers had already committed five turnovers, and head coach Jesse Snyder said that's something that will be addressed in practice.

"We're definitely going to address it in all our individual drills and team drills," he said. "We'll have to make sure we're really getting on top of our high-and-tight [ball security] drills with our running backs, and exchanges from quarterbacks to running backs."

Morrison's performance, while good, wasn't perfect. The Mustangs fumbled three times, losing possession twice, and committed seven penalties for 41 yards.

Those two aspects will be among the things Bielema said his coaching staff will address leading up to next week's game against Orion on the road.

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