Mavericks overcome injuries, beat Taylor for first time in six years

By Tyler Tyre, Times Sports Editor
Posted 9/25/21

“This was a really important win for us,” said Morton Ranch junior running back Santana Scott. “On the varsity level it’s been a minute since we’ve been able to beat Taylor, this is a huge step for us.”

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Mavericks overcome injuries, beat Taylor for first time in six years

Posted

Morton Ranch may have come into its District 19-6A opener shorthanded, but it didn’t matter, the Mavericks were on a mission.

The Mavericks only suited 34 player but didn’t make any excuses and had only one goal in mind, start district play with a win.

Morton Ranch (3-2, 1-1) never trailed, beating Taylor 28-7 on Friday at Rhodes Stadium to get a much needed win to open district.

It was the first time Morton Ranch beat Taylor since 2015.

“This was a really important win for us,” said Morton Ranch junior running back Santana Scott. “On the varsity level it’s been a minute since we’ve been able to beat Taylor, this is a huge step for us.”

Scott rushed for 168 yards and scored on runs of 13, 23 and three to lead the Mavericks offense while Josh Johnson went 11-19 for 136 yards and also had 50 yards rushing and a score.

“Offensively we knew they were going to try and play the run,” Scott said. “The offensive line really did a good job and opened up holes and that was able to open up the passing game. That helped us a lot, especially on critical downs.”

Scott got Morton Ranch on the board late in the first quarter, but Taylor (1-4, 0-1) answered back, as Joe Jefferson threw a screen pass to Alei Sabek, who went 60 yards for a touchdown to tie things.

Tyree Washington came away with an interception early in the second quarter and the Morton Ranch took advantage of getting the ball back and Scott ran in his second score from 23-yards out on the ensuing drive, and Morton Ranch took a 14-7 lead into the half.

“It was such a good game from the defense,” Johnson said. “Them only putting up seven points in the whole game is really motivating for our offense because we get on the field more and it fuels that motivation for us. Their success is our success too.”

The Morton Ranch offense increased the lead quickly as Johnson made it a two score game early in the third quarter when he kept a read-option and ran 40-yards for a touchdown.

“It makes it really difficult on a defense when we run that because you can’t guard the run from the running back, the run from the quarterback and the play action all at once,” Scott said. “We just have to keep running it, see that trial and error and see what they do and then take the open looks.”

Scott put the dagger in the game when he scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was the Morton Ranch defense that made the biggest impact in the game.

The Mavericks defense held the Mustangs to just 210 yards of total offense, including just 60 yards on the ground and did not allow Taylor to score after the 60-yard pass in the first quarter, and they did this despite missing key players on that side of the ball.

“We had three defensive lineman out and we had to move a kid up from JV,” said Morton Ranch head coach Ron Counter. “We’ve had a lot of injuries on defense this year and they just did a great job.”

Counter was proud of his players performance and the way they battled despite being shorthanded.

“I told them ‘you can only put 11 on the field at a time,’ whether you have 40 or 60 on the sideline it doesn’t matter. Only 11 can go out and cross the big white lines at a time,” Counter said. “I told them ‘whoever those 11 are out there on the field, and it might be some of the same guys especially with defense and special teams, you just have to go out there and give it all that you’ve got.’ They were able to do that.”

Taylor, which is in the midst of a four-game losing streak and will face Seven Lakes next week.

Counter is thankful for the fact that Morton Ranch has a bye week next week and he expects most of his injured players to be back by the time the team faces Seven Lakes.

Counter believes the win might have been the biggest Morton Ranch has had since he was name dhead coach in 2017.

“Starting 1-0 was huge for us,” Counter said. “And the timing couldn’t be better, having an open week so that we can get some of our banged-up guys healthy. Every week is going to be tough in this district so we have to get ready for the next one.”

Morton Ranch 28, Taylor 7

Taylor

0

 --

 7 

Morton Ranch

 7 

7

7

 --

 28 

First quarter

MR: Santana Scott 13 (Juan Arriaga kick), 2:50

T: Joe Jefferson 60 pass to Alei Sabek (Sabek kick), 0:35

Second quarter

MR: Santana Scott 23 run (Arriaga kick), 8:37

Third quarter

MR: Josh Johnson 40 run (Arriaga kick), 9:25

Fourth quarter

MR: Santana Scott 3 run (Arriaga kick), 9:25

Team stats

Taylor

 Morton Ranch  

  First downs

 7

 16

  Yards rushing

 20-60

  46-235

  Yards passing

 150

  136

  Passes

 8-19-0-1

 11-19-0-0

  Punts

  7-45

 4-34

  Fumbles-lost

  0-0

  2-0

  Penalty-yards

  6-45

 8-59

Individual Statistics

Rushing – Morton Ranch: Santana Scott 31-168-3; Josh Johnson, 7-50-1; Ryan Hall, 8-17; Taylor: Joe Jefferson, 6-40; Michael Whitaker, 8-34; Tyler Irving, 3-(-1) Jake Webster, 2-(-15)

Passing – Morton Ranch: Josh Johnson, 11-19-136-0-0; Taylor: Joe Jefferson, 5-12-122-0-1; Jake Webster, 3-7-28-0-1

Receiving – Morton Ranch: Josiah Mills, 3-62; Mike Gerald, 4-62; Cameron Hudson, 3-8; Marcus Jackson, 1-4; Taylor: Alei Sabek, 2-72-1; Michael Whitaker, 3-50; Wyatt Fahey, 3-28

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here