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Card football: Morical named MVP for team

The Alexandria football team handed out its season-ending awards recently where it named senior running back Steffen Morical its most valuable player.

Morical was an impact player on offense and defense from the cornerback position. He led Alexandria's resurgence in the second half of the season and finished with a team-leading 982 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. Those numbers also earned Morical the Most Valuable Offensive Back Award after averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

Fellow senior co-captain Jesse Hacker was named the most valuable offensive lineman. Hacker helped pave the way for a Cardinal offense that ran for 2,079 yards this fall.

Max Flowers was named the most valuable defensive lineman. The junior tied for a team-high with two sacks and finished with 39 tackles. Brock Wood was named the most valuable defensive back after finishing with 84 tackles. He finished second on the team in total defensive points with 472, behind Cody Brandt's 488.

Chase Duwenhoegger was named the team's most improved player. The junior lineman stepped up his game to help an Alexandria running game that kept improving as the season progressed. Phil Pham was named the special teams player of the year after going 16-of-19 on extra points and 3-for-3 on field goals.

Senior Gideon Hartsell rounded out the team award winners by being named the most inspirational player. Hartsell, who worked hard as the team manager, provided one of the more memorable moments of the season when he kicked the extra point after Alexandria's first touchdown against St. Cloud Tech on September 9.

The Cardinals had four players named to the All-Central Lakes Conference team in Hacker, Morical, Wood and Gideon Burnham. Brandt, AJ Anderson, Jordan Domine, Flowers and Charlie Wensman were all named honorable mention selections.

Hacker, Morical and Wood were also named to the All-Section 8AAAA team after leading the Cardinals into the semifinals. Domine, Wensman and Nick Knoblach were honorable-mention selections.

Alexandria rebounded from a 0-3 start to the season to play its best football down the stretch. The Cardinals won three straight games, including a 42-16 win over Sauk Rapids-Rice in the opening round of the playoffs. Their only losses in the final six weeks of the season came against Rocori and Bemidji, the two teams that met up in the Class 4A state title game. They also earned the CLC Sportsmanship Award in the process.

Off the field, Alexandria had five players named CLC scholar athletes. Burnham, Hacker, Morical, Pham and Wensman all earned that honor.

The Cardinals also looked forward to next season at its award banquet by naming Ted Deitz, Duwenhoegger, Tyler Kelly, Knoblach, Tyler Meyer and Flowers its team captains for 2012.

2011 ALEXANDRIA FOOTBALL AWARDS

TEAM AWARDS - Most valuable defensive lineman -Max Flowers; Most valuable offensive lineman - Jesse Hacker; Most valuable offensive back - Steffen Morical; Most valuable defensive back - Brock Wood; Most valuable special teams player - Phil Pham; Most improved player - Chase Duwenhoegger; Most Inspirational player - Gideon Hartsell; MVP - Morical

ALL CLC - Gideon Burnham, Hacker, Morical, Wood; Honorable mention - AJ Anderson, Cody Brandt, Jordan Domine, Flowers, Charlie Wensman

ALL-SECTION 8AAAA - Hacker, Morical, Wood; Honorable mention - Domine, Nick Knoblach, Charlie Wensman

CLC SCHOLAR ATHLETES - Burnham, Hacker, Morical, Pham, C. Wensman

LETTER WINNERS - SENIORS - AJ Anderson, Dan Anderson, Darian Bowman, Brandt, Burnham, Casey Chermak, Domine, Tyler Erickson, Everett Fandrich, Ben Ferrell, Hacker, Hartsell, Austin Klug, Kirby Kragenbring, Zach McKay, Morical, Erich Murphy, Alex Paulson, Pham, Tanner Rice, Logan Serum, Matthew Sheets, C. Wensman, Wood; JUNIORS - Ted Deitz, Duwenhoegger, Flowers, James Holmquist, Nathan Huss, Tyler Kelly, Knoblach, Brian Krebs, Tyler Meyer, Chad Peterson, Anthony Smith, Jack Wensman; SOPHOMORES - Landon Anderson, Jordan Karger, Aaron Steidl, John Vogeler

2012 CAPTAINS - Tyler Deitz, Chase Duwenhoegger, Tyler Kelly, Nick Knoblach, Tyler Meyer, Max Flowers

SEASON STATISTICS

OFFENSE - TOTALS - First downs - 131; Rushing - 465-2,079; Receiving - 37-520; Total TD - 25; Total points - 175; Opponents - First downs - 132; Rushing - 398-1,729; Receiving - 66-982; Total TD - 27; Total points - 191;

INDIVIDUAL - Rushing - Serum - 58-78, TD; Aaron Steidl - 40-177; Burnham - 79-399, 3 TD; Ferrell - 9-16; Morical - 179-982, 14 TD; Knoblach - 4-10, TD; Rice - 2-(-7); Wood - 82-402, 4 TD; John Vogeler - 1-(-2); Mitchell Peck - 3-7; Tony Hubbard - 4-23; Cody Brandt - 2-11; Landon Anderson - 2-0; Passing - Serum - 37-100, 520 yards, 3 TD, 6 interceptions; Receiving - Steidl - 3-17; Burnham - 1-0; Ferrell - 1-21; Morical - 10-60; Alek Anderson - 12-98; Knoblach - 1-14; Rice - 1-3; Wood - 1-12; Domine - 6-191, 2 TD; C. Wensman - 1-14

DEFENSE - Ben Kluver - 1 tackle, 4 points; Vogeler - 23 tackles, 2 pass breakups, 137 points; Rice - 23 tackles, 1 pass breakup, 134 points; Domine - 35 tackles, interception, 2 pass breakups, 225 points; Serum - 1 tackle, 7 points; Knoblach - 37 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 pass breakups, 256 points; Morical - 37 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 pass breakups, 241 points; Tony Hubbard - 1 tackle, 4 points; Burnham - 45 tackles, interception, 2 pass breakups, 265 points; Brandt - 87 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 pass breakups, 488 points; Jack Wensman - 21 tackles, 90 points; Nathan Huss - 21 points, 1 fumble recovery, 2 interceptions, 142 points; Steidl - 31 points, 1 blocked kick, 155 points; Landon Anderson - 1 tackle, 4 points; Tyler Kelly - 13 tackles, 64 points; C. Wensman - 65 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 QB hurries, 369 points; Wood - 84 tackles, fumble recovery, interception, 1 pass breakup, 1 blocked kick, 472 points; Mitchell Peck - 2 tackles, 14 points; Ben Pryzbilla - 1 tackle, 4 points; Flowers - 39 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 QB hurry, 202 points; Jordan Karger - 18 tackles, 87 points; Matt Sheets - 26 tackles, 116 points; Alex Paulson - 4 tackles, 16 points; Tyler Erickson - 1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery, 12 points; Zach McKay - 5 tackles, 23 points; Ted Dietz - 2 tackles, 8 points; Anthony Smith - 1 tackle; 7 points; Hacker - 1 tackle, 7 points; Riley Hvezda - 7 tackles, 31 points; Chad Peterson - 1 tackle, 4 points; AJ Anderson - 20 tackles, 1 sack, 100 points

SPECIAL TEAMS - Punt returns - Knoblach - 20-198; Kick returns - Knoblach - 11-266; Ferrell - 6-133; Burnham - 13-348, TD; Morical - 2-27; Punting - Rice - 38, 1,146, 30.2 average; Kicking - Ben Kluver - 13-594, 45.7 average; Pham - 21-917, 43.7 average; Knoblach - 2-19, 9.5 average; Extra points - Pham - 16-19; Hartsell - 0-1; Field goals - Pham - 3-3; Total points - Pham - 25

Follow #AlexMN @EchoPress Sports Reporter Eric Morken on Twitter at @echo_sports.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

(320) 763-1229
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