Taren Morrison dominating for Desert Ridge in 2013 - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Taren Morrison dominating for Desert Ridge in 2013

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Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 1:10 pm | Updated: 5:23 pm, Sat Nov 2, 2013.

While Tarek Morrison burst onto the high school football scene as Desert Ridge's star quarterback in 2012, twin brother Taren spent the season in the background.

First came an ankle injury which forced him to miss the first month of the season, then a broken hand which limited his effectiveness in the final six games. Taren Morrison, a running back, eclipsed 100 rushing yards just one time as a sophomore and averaged 5.84 yards per carry.

However, as coach Jeremy Hathcock watched him this offseason, there was little doubt in his mind how much of a difference-maker Taren could become. 

"I really thought he could break every rushing record we have in our school," Hathcock said.

Tarek missed this season's first three games and is still not fully recovered from an ACL tear he suffered in last year's playoffs. Taren, meanwhile, has stepped up in a big way, becoming one of the top skill position threats in the state.

He has 70 carries for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns, and his yards-per-carry average of 16.07 leads the state.

No player in Arizona has averaged more than 16 yards per carry since Maxpreps began compiling statistics in 2004.  Saguaro's Tim Ruben came the closest, averaging 15.33 yards per rush in 2007, according to Maxpreps.

Last week Mesa, Morrison carried the ball 11 times for 376 yards and four touchdowns.

Hathcock rattled off multiple reasons why Taren is such an effective running back.

"We're just giving him the ball and he's out-running people," Hathcock said. "He's super explosive. Holy cow. It's also very hard to tackle him and his vision and cut-back abilities are just off the charts."

The second-ranked Jaguars are 5-1 on the season with games remaining against Skyline, Red Mountain, Desert Mountain and Mountain View. 

If Desert Ridge can make a deep playoff run and Morrison continues on this pace, he will be in the running for Player of the Year.

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