Rebels burst out of the gate
FULDA -- Fueled by the strong rushing performances of Jeremy Storm and Tony Falk Thursday night, the Murray County Central Rebels impressively won their Little Sioux Conference football opener over the Fulda Raiders, 46-2.
Storm (135 yards, three touchdowns) and Falk (210 yards, one touchdown) combined to rush the ball 22 times (11 each) for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Running behind a big, experienced offensive line, the pair broke off several big gains early and often.
"This was a great team effort tonight," MCC head coach Chris Davis said after the game. "Our line played really well, and our backs showed some good speed."
MCC scored on its first possession -- a four-play, 68-yard drive highlighted by Falk's 48-yard burst to the 2-yard line, where Storm plunged into the end zone at 9:17 of the first quarter. Austin Ludolph kicked the extra point to give the Rebels an early 7-0 lead.
MCC's Paul Counter -- who would later leave the game and not return with a knee injury --sacked Fulda quarterback Miguel Lavoie on the third-and-six play during the Raiders' next possession, forcing Fulda to punt for the second time.
Lavoie's 25-yard punt put the ball at MCC's 40-yard line, and it didn't take long for the Rebels to score again, as Storm followed good lead blocking on the left side and galloped 60 yards untouched for a touchdown on the first play of the series.
Ludolph's point-after attempt was no good, leaving MCC with a 13-0 lead with 6:43 to go in the first quarter.
Fulda looked to be moving on the ensuing possession as Lavoie hooked up with Tom Kuhl for a 10-yard gain and a defensive pass interference call gave the Raiders a first down at their own 48-yard line.
The drive eventually stalled, but the Raiders gained valuable field possession on Lavoie's next punt.
Lavoie's punt landed inside the 10-yard line, and Alex Hein hustled downfield and leaped to keep the ball from bouncing into the end zone. He tipped the ball back into the hands of Kuhl, who downed the ball at the 1-yard line.
Things were looking good for the Raiders at that point, but that all changed on MCC's first play after that.
Quarterback Derik Johnson pitched the ball to Falk on the right side, where there was no room. Falk cut back to the left side before busting several tackles and sprinting 99 yards for a touchdown at the 3:24 mark.
Brady Johansen's two-point conversion try was no good, and MCC held its 19-0 for the rest of the first quarter.
MCC was again driving early in the second quarter before Johnson fumbled a quarterback keeper at Fulda's six-yard line, where the Raiders' Zach Titus recovered the ball.
MCC got the ball back two minutes later when Johansen recovered a fumble by Fulda's Chris Witzel. Four plays later, Storm scooted into the end zone from 13 yards out. Falk added the two-point conversion try, and MCC led 27-0 with 6:49 left in the first half.
MCC scored again at the 2:42 mark, when Johnson dropped back and passed for the first time in the game. He found a wide-open Patrick Petersen for a 41-yard touchdown and a 33-0 lead. Ludolph's point-after was no good.
Johnson and Petersen hooked up for another touchdown with 7:57 showing on the third-quarter clock. This time it was a 24-yard strike, and Ludolph added the extra point.
The two pass attempts and completions were the only ones of the game for MCC, which racked up 455 rushing yards on 45 attempts.
Trailing 40-0, Fulda got on the board with 6:54 left in the game. On their own 16-yard line, the Rebels attempted to punt, but the snap was too high. The ball sailed into the end zone, where Falk booted it between the goalposts for a safety.
MCC's Travis DeLong added a 9-yard touchdown run with 3:51 remaining to finish the scoring.
"MCC played a great game," Fulda head coach Brad Holinka said. "Their backs kept running and we didn't tackle them the best."
Fulda (0-1) hosts Minneota next week, while MCC (1-0) visits Russell-Tyler-Ruthton.
MCC 19 14 7 6 -- 46
Fulda 0 0 0 2 -- 2