MOORHEAD — Moorhead Spuds head football coach Kevin Feeney knows his team is getting one more game this fall in a season that has been significantly altered due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, that youth and prep sports would be put on hold right at midnight Friday, Nov. 20, to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Spuds were scheduled to play Alexandria at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, in the Minnesota Class 5A, Section 8 playoffs, which is past the governor’s deadline. That game is being moved to 7 p.m. Friday at Jim Gotta Stadium.
“To know we get one more time to go out there and leave it all on the field is huge," Spuds senior quarterback Trey Feeney said. "It's very mixed emotions. Obviously, we wished we were playing for a section championship and then moving on to the state championship, but you just can't take anything for granted."
The Spuds (6-0) went undefeated during the regular season, which started late due to COVID-19. The playoffs were scheduled to be played through the section championship games before Wednesday’s decision.
“This whole year has been crazy,” Trey Feeney said.
The Spuds averaged 41.7 points per game while allowing 5.2 points per contest through their first six games. Moorhead scored at least 42 points in four games and had three shutouts.
Trey Feeney completed 111 of 165 passes with 29 touchdowns and one interception to lead a high-octane offense during the regular season. He also rushed for 203 yards on 32 attempts. Senior wide receiver Brady Walthall has 50 catches for 746 yards and 12 touchdowns. Blake Walthall added 26 receptions for 414 yards and nine TDs.
Senior running back George Nyanforh rushed for 322 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries to lead the ground game.
“We’ve played every moment like it’s our last,” Brady Walthall said. “We never knew if we would get to play again after each game. We tried to take in every game like it was our last.”
Friday night will be the final game for a team that had state championship aspirations before the season structure was changed due to the ongoing pandemic.
“We tried to literally play every game like it was a state championship,” Kevin Feeney said. “We’re just ecstatic that we’re going to get to play one more game with this team.”
Trey Feeney said it’s been an “up and down” season, but he’s thankful for the games this team has been able to play to this point. Feeney has committed to play football at the University of North Dakota.
“You don’t take it for granted,” Trey said. “Don’t take anything for granted is the biggest lesson we’ve all learned this year. … I knew coming into this season this team was going to be special. Teams that are good are teams that are together.”
Kevin Feeney said it's been a swirl of emotions this week, not exactly knowing if they would get one final game.
“Twenty four hours ago we just had this feeling that our season was over and we were going to end it on a practice field,” Kevin Feeney said. “You definitely learn to appreciate through this process everything that you get.”