A Loss in the Herd

For the first time this season, the North Dakota State Bison football team suffered a loss. Sadly, it was not a loss on the field, but it was a large one for one of the team captains. In the hours following last week’s game, Paul Morlock, father of the Bison running back Chase Morlock, passed away at the age of 52.

Chase was noticeably absent from the Bison’s 27-3 victory at Missouri State last Saturday, as he stayed back in Moorhead to be with his father.

On Monday, Chris Klieman began his weekly press conference by offering his condolences to Chase and his family.

“I ended last week by talking to the team about family first, whether it is the family at home or the Bison family. Those two intertwined this week,” Klieman said, struggling to get the words out. “Everybody is here for each other, and this is a Bison family that is going through a tough time. I had quickly talked to Nick DeLuca, who had said Paul had passed.”

Paul had been battling colorectal cancer when he died.

Morlock is one of the most respectable players on the team, and now the team will be rallying and supporting him.

“I don’t think that this team can be any closer because we have such a strong group of guys. They will all be there for Chase this week,” Klieman said.

To quote the great Vince Lombardi, “It is not whether you get knocked down, it is whether you get up.”

There is no doubt that the Bison and Chase will get back up. Starting this weekend as the Bison take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Undoubtedly, it will be an emotional afternoon.

So far this season, Chase has been a vital part of the Bison offense. On top of the 13 carries he had this year, he has five receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. A look behind the numbers reveals much more.

Morlock has also been filling in as fullback as the Bison have found themselves short-handed at the position. His absence could be seen last Saturday as the Bison struggled early to get the ball moving.

Coach Klieman is allowing Chase to take a break from football to give him time with his family.

“I told him that football will be here whenever he wanted to come back,” Klieman said.

All of BisoNation is with the Morlock family this week, keeping them in their thoughts and prayers.

Rest in peace, Paul Morlock.

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