Article courtesy of MIPrepzone
Jack Morris passed his way into Eisenhower football lore with a dart into the heart of Rochester Adams.
Eisenhower’s senior backup quarterback threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Ben Mets with 1:33 left in the fourth quarter to lift the undefeated Eagles to a 10-6 victory over the Highlanders in a Division 1 district championship game played under a full moon at Swinehart Field in Utica on Friday night.
The pass to Mets was only Morris’ second completion of the night as he subbed for injured starter Max Wittwer, who is out with a knee injury.
“I had a lot fun,” Morris said. “It was a thrill to play and I know it was a thrill to watch. It was an exciting game.”
The touchdown came on the Eagles’ first play after they forced a punt following an Eisenhower turnover at the Adams 10.
The Highlanders got to the Ike 22-yard line in the final half-minute, but ran out of time against the MAC Red Division champions, who improved to 11-0.
“We didn’t capitalize when we were in the red zone tonight and that cost us,” Highlanders coach Tony Patritto said after his team dropped to 9-2. Patritto huddled with his team and then consoled individual players as the Highlanders tried to absorb the end of their season.
“I told them there’s no training, no school, for older people to come with words that will make their pain any less,” Patritto said. “I lost those words a long time ago.
“This is such a special journey and such a special sport we have with these kids. I just love them so much and hate seeing them like this. But sometimes feeling pain is better than being dead.”
Steven Nadolski kicked two field goals for the Adams points. His 34-yarder with 6:52 left in the fourth quarter broke a 3-3 tie. Nadolski connected from 21 yards in the second quarter to open the scoring.
Garrett Lineberger recovered an Ike fumble at the Adams 10 with 2:36 left, a development that put the Highlanders in position to move into the regional round next week.
But Morris connected with Mets on a play called while the Eagle offense was still on the sideline.
“They were in the ring,” Patritto said of his players. “They gave it everything they had and they should be proud of their effort.”
Massimo D’Aristotile kicked a 24-yard field goal to lift Eisenhower into a 3-3 tie with 5:59 left in the third quarter. The field goal followed an Adams turnover.
Morris completed two of five attempts for 57 yards. His other completion, to Caleb Oyster, set up the Eagle field goal.
Adams quarterback Zach Soldan completed 10 of 13 attempts for 144 yards.
Mets held on the Eagles’ PAT following his touchdown. He also plays defense. “I wasn’t really busy out there for the first three quarters,” Mets said. “The ball came my way and I went up and got it.”
Eisenhower, a district champion for the second consecutive year, will play West Bloomfield for a regional championship on its home field next week.