Football: Thunder cruise to first win, at homecoming, 36-6 over Mora

Andrew Nixon of the Thunder dashes through Mora defenders xxxxx on the way to an 18-yard touchdown pass. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Andrew Nixon of the Thunder dashes through Mora defenders Levi Anderson (10) and Chandler Hinrichs (27) on the way to an 18-yard touchdown on a pass from Taylor Snow. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

The Zimmerman Thunder shook off a shaky start and dominated the rest of the game to beat the Mora Mustangs 36-6 Friday evening for their first win.

In their homecoming game, the Thunder passed for three touchdowns and 142 yards, while rushing for 289 yards and two scores. They may have broken 50 points if not for two fumbles that stopped drives inside the 10 and a penalty that nullified a long touchdown pass.

Austin May brought down Mora quarterback Justin Mantel. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Austin May brought down Mora quarterback Justin Mantel. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

“It went very well tonight,” said Thunder veteran center Dustin Neseth. “We had a good week of practice. The offensive line stepped up this week. We got off the ball faster, and the backs did their jobs. Everybody did their jobs.”

Matt Dorso tossed a pair of touchdown passes for the Thunder. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Matt Dorso launched a pass that resulted in a 35-yard touchdown to Cody Thompson. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Mora (0-3) recovered a Thunder fumble on the opening kickoff and took a 6-0 lead on  Justin Mantel’s five-yard run. However, Austin May blocked the extra point kick and it was all Zimmerman after that.

Andrew Nixon scored twice on passes, from Matt Dorso on a 28-yarder over the top and from Taylor Snow on an 18-yarder over the middle.  The junior halfback gained 59 on five carries and caught four passes for 41 yards.

Dorso also hit Cody Thompson with a 35-yard score on the long toss over the defense.  May led with 75 yards rushing on 14 carries including a five-yard touchdown. Chase Rosby closed the scoring with a 47-yard run, the longest play of the night on his lone carry.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do to clean up a lot of things on both sides of the ball and special teams, too,” said coach Tom Kish. “We are making mistakes that are unacceptable. But we are showing some progress.”

Kish credited his team for ramping up its physicality, not only in the win over Mora but last week’s loss to Becker.

“You could see at the end of the game tonight, Mora was walking off slowly,” he said. “We got some sticks on them. That’s the way we have to play because we are not going to win many game on finesse.”

Cody Thompson (35) has a step on the defender, Greg Chmiel (28) as he hauls in the pass from Matt Dorso for a touchdown. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Cody Thompson (35) has a step on the defender, Greg Chmiel (28) as he hauls in the pass from Matt Dorso for a touchdown. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

The Thunder will play at Foley next Friday.

Zimmerman 36, Mora 6

Mora ……………. 6   0   0   0  —  6
Zimmerman …. 7   7   8  14 — 36

Mora—Justin Mantel 5 run (kick blocked)
Zim—Andrew Nixon 28 pass from Matt Dorso (Alex MacGregor kick)
Zim—Nixon 18 pass from Taylor Snow (MacGregor kick)
Zim—Austin May 5 run (Hunter Smith pass from Mack Riley)
Zim—Cody Thompson 35 pass from Dorso (MacGregor kick)
Zim—Chase Rosby 47 run (MacGregor kick)

Nate Wiley pounces on a fumble by Mora early in the second half. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Nate Wiley pounces on a fumble by Mora early in the second half. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Zimmerman leaders

Passing — Dorso 6-8-119-0, Snow 3-5-23-0
Receving — Noah Lunning 3-33, Craig Steiskal 1-11, Nixon 4-41, Thompson 1-35, Nick Hasslen 1-22
Rushing — Austin May 14-75, Nixon 5-59, Rosby 1-48, Lunning 12-31, Dorso 3-25, Steiskal 1-16, Josh Hilliard 2-14, Austin Tretbar 2-13, Snow 4-8
Tackle leaders (solo-assists) — May 5-1-6, Collin Lane 3-2-5, Tretbar 4-1-5, Evan Langston 3-2-5, Lunning 4-0-4, Hasslen 2-2-4, Trent Milless 2-2-4
Sacks — Tretbar

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