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Morgan roars back, hands loss to Tooele

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TOOELE — Identical twins Drew and Darren Hadley do everything together.

And despite never playing a down together Friday night in Tooele, the brothers teamed up to lead the Morgan Trojans to their first win over region-rival Tooele in more than three years.

Quarterback Drew Hadley led the team on the field, while his injured running back brother Darren led the emotional effort on the sideline as the Trojans came from behind to win 35-17.

The Trojans came out strong, scoring first on a 74-yard run by Jeff Manning. But the Buffalo answered twice in the first quarter with a 77-yard pass from Easton Nigh to Griffin Sorenson and later a 52-yard pass to Clint Johnson with just 23 seconds left in the first quarter.

Buffalo kicker Benson Palmer scored the only points of the second quarter with an impressive 47-yard field goal to make the score at halftime 17-7.

As Morgan made its way to the locker room, Darren Hadley stepped up to do his part.

"I just told them everybody is here for a reason, and even if you're not playing you've got a job to do," Darren said after praising his brother's 100-yard rushing, 56-yard passing game. "He's the best quarterback in the state."

Whatever was said in the locker room, the Trojans, who were flat most of the first half, came out on fire. They kept the ball most of the second half, allowing Tooele just four short possessions in the half. Jeff Manning added 148 yards rushing to Hadley's 100 yards in the offensive outing.

"They got the momentum going, and it's a strange thing," said Tooele coach Tyler Anderson after his team's first region loss in 11 games. "It's hard to stop someone when they've got the momentum, and we had some mistakes."

One of the most costly was a bad snap that went over the punter's head and through the end zone for a safety, giving Morgan a 21-17 lead.

One of the biggest shifts in momentum came when Tooele turned the ball over on downs at its own 40-yard line after hanging onto the ball just 1:53 after Morgan had it for nearly six minutes.

Then, on Morgan's first play after that, the Tooele defense allowed Jeff Manning to break numerous tackles and run 40 yards for a touchdown that made the score 28-17. With 3:38 left in the game, Tooele could have made the game interesting, but instead, they failed to cover a squib kick, allowing Morgan's Justin Eddy to pick it up at their 23-yard line. Three plays later Morgan scored its final touchdown on a six-yard run by Cameron Jones.

Morgan coach Renn Hoopes gave the credit for the win to his coaching staff and Drew Hadley.

"Drew is our leader," he said. "He knows our offense, and he knows how to run it. He called about three-quarters of the plays in the second half."

While Morgan savors the victory that's been years in the making, Tooele will try to turn the disappointment into a learning experience.

"We've just got to bounce back," Anderson said. "It's a tough loss, but winning region is still possible. I definitely think we can be in the hunt. We just have to move on, learn from our mistakes and forget about this game."

E-mail: adonaldson@desnews.com