Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Tuttle’s Morgan Neal (21) runs behind a block by Jason Biddy last Thursday night during a game against Marlow. The junior ran for a career-high 242 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 44-20 win at Outlaw Stadium.(Staff photo by Jeff Harrison)
 
By Jeff Harrison
Managing Editor

MARLOW — Jesse Gregory has certainly been the face of Tuttle’s powerful ground game this season. But on Thursday night, the Marlow Outlaws saw a whole lot of Morgan Neal.

The junior tailback ran for a career-high 242 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-20 district win at Outlaw Stadium.

“After that first turnover I had on the option, I had my little moment and just played like how I know how to play,” Neal said.

The Tigers finished with 378 yards rushing in the road. The bulk of those were courtesy of Neal, but Gregory still had a big night. Gregory carried 15 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Both Neal and Gregory fumbled in the first half.

“That’s great having two guys because when if one’s not feeling it maybe the other guy is,” Tuttle coach Phil Koons said. “Jesse had his moments but Morgan hit some big runs, especially on that inside zone.”

With the victory, Tuttle improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in District 3A-1. Marlow moves to 4-3 overall and 1-3 in district play.

Tuttle overcame a rocky start on the road. The Tigers turned the ball over three times the first half, but still headed to the locker room up by two scores.

The Tigers fumbled on their first two possessions, but came away unscathed. Marlow punted after the first fumble recovery, and missed a 35-yard field goal on the second.

Two plays later, the Tigers were on the board. Neal broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run. Ty Stonebraker’s kick made it a 7-0 lead with 5:43 left in the first.

Stonebraker later pushed the lead to 10-0 with a 27-yard field goal, his first of the season.
But turnovers continued to plague the Tigers in the second quarter. Jobe tried to hit Chris Redhat down the left sidelines but his pass was picked off by Zac Beasler.

The Outlaws turned the mistake into six. Braeden O’Dell threw a 34-yard pass to Kelby Richardson and later took it in himself from two yards out.

Tuttle quickly made up the difference. Deakon Mincey returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to make it a 17-7 score with 5:54 in the half.

The Tigers added to their lead with another score off a turnover. Gregory punched it in from 10 yards out for a 24-7 lead with 3:04 in the half.

But those three minutes were enough time for Marlow to answer. Kagan Blackburn broke free for a 43-yard run. O’Dell later hit Beau Meshell in the end zone for a 24-14 halftime score.

“That’s always disheartening to let them go score on you like that,” Koons said.

Marlow hurt the Tigers with another big play in the second half. Montana Clark slipped on the turf trying to tackle O’Dell and the quarterback sprinted 45 yards down field. He later hit Meshell in the end zone. Tuttle blocked the extra point to make it a 31-20 game with 4:53 in the third.

That’s all the closer the Outlaws would get, as the Tigers put the game away in the fourth. Neal and Gregory each scored again, while the defense held Marlow to 22 yards in the final 12 minutes of action.

“That’s just Tuttle’s 4-4-4 mentality,” Neal said. “The fourth quarter comes, they’re gassed and we’re just getting started. We’re ready to keep pounding them in the mouth.”

Blackburn led the Outlaws with 98 yards rushing.

O’Dell completed 10 of 15 passes for 94 yards and two scores. He ran for another 54 yards and one touchdown.

Tuttle travels to Jones Friday night to take on the Longhorns. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.






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