The Mustangs continued their good start to the season Friday, Sept. 6 at Bergloff-Deis Field. Mora defeated Eveleth-Gilbert 45-21 to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
After playing a run-heavy North Branch team in the season opener, Mora faced a different challenge from the Golden Bears, an offense that relied heavily on the passing game.
Early on the passing attack from Eveleth-Gilbert gave the Mustangs fits. The Golden Bears struck first on a 34-yard touchdown pass to go up 7-0. But before they had much of a chance to enjoy that lead, Ben Wright took the ensuing kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown. After the two-point conversion Mora led 8-7.
Eveleth-Gilbert took their second possession and marched down the field. The drive ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass as the Golden Bears retook the lead 14-8. However, from that point on Mora took control of the game.
On their first offensive possession of the game, Mora showed that their running game could not be slowed on this night. Kobe Swanson went for a 45-yard touchdown run and with the two-point conversion Mora took a lead it wouldn’t relinquish 16-14.
Mora’s defense began to step up and slow the passing attack of the Golden Bears. Mora would force Eveleth-Gilbert into three interceptions throughout the remainder of the game and hold them to just 14 for 36 passing.
“After the first two possessions our young defensive backs played their passing game much better,” said Head Coach Troy Erickson.
In the meantime, Mora’s rushing attack was gashing the Golden Bears’ defense. After a Ben Wright interception Mora turned it into points. Jaden Ponto punctuated the drive with a 29-yard touchdown run. With the two-point conversion Mora went ahead 24-14.
Both Nick Nelson and Ponto went over 100 yards on the night. Nelson carried the ball 15 times for 135 yards while Ponto carried it 13 times for 106 yards.
“Nelson and Ponto were our co-offensive MVP’s for the game. All of our running backs ran hard,” said Erickson.
After another interception, this time by Tommy Nosbush, Mora struck quickly before the half. On the first play after the interception Caleb Anderson hit Andrew Rasmusson for a 46-yard touchdown to make it 30-14. Anderson only threw the ball two times on the night, but made them both count. He completed both passes for 60 yards and two touchdowns.
Mora continued its dominance in the third quarter. Anderson hit Nate Burski for a touchdown and later on Nick Nelson ran hard for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 45-14. A late Golden Bear touchdown made the final 45-21.