Wilcox Academy edges Morgan 27-24Published 1:46am Saturday, September 14, 2013
After the first half Friday night, the Morgan Senators found themselves down 20-3 to Wilcox Academy and appeared to be a team with few answers for the Wildcats physical attack. To make matters worse, Morgan had lost their starting quarterback and were going to have to ride the arm of a sophomore if they had any chance of coming back.
Then, there was the second half that proved Morgan’s youth is starting to gain the needed experience to compete are growing up right in front of head coach Bob Taylor’s eyes.
In the second half, now down 27-3 after an early third quarter touchdown by Wildcats, Morgan started a comeback that nearly proved epic, scoring 21 unanswered points.
With the score now 27-24 and less than 30 seconds left in the game, Morgan sat at Wilcox’s 16-yard line, facing a fourth down and four. That’s when Taylor’s call to go for the win versus the tie fell a little short.
On that fourth down play, with 25.5 seconds left, sophomore quarterback Harrison Adams lofted a pass past the first down marker, but the pass was a little high, just out of the reach of the intended receiver.
“It’s gut wrenching to lose a game like this. To fight back all the way and have a chance just to fall short hurts,” Taylor said. “But, I am proud of the way our kids fought back, the way they played in the second half.
“They are starting to learn how our pace of play can make a difference in the game, and are starting to get a better grasp each week on this offense.”
Adams was thrown into service after starting quarterback, senior Dalton Lee, was injured late in the first quarter when he attempted to tackle Wilcox’s Daniel Harris after Harris intercepted a pass.
Harris would make it into the end zone for the touchdown and Lee would out for the reminder of the game. His status for next week’s game against Tuscaloosa Academy is in doubt.It was just one of the mistakes in the first half that Taylor said proved just too much to overcome.
“We had the ball inside the 10-yard line, I think, four times in the first half and came away with just three points,” Taylor said. “We can’t afford to do that.”
After Wilcox scored early in the third quarter, Morgan appeared to find their rhythm on offense.
With 8:25 left in the third quarter, Adams would find John Robertson for an 8-yard touchown. The extra point by Lauren Rutherford was good, which closed Wilcox’s lead to 27-10.
The Senators would close the gap even further early in the fourth quarter when an Adams’ pass to Jamie Bearden resulted in a 32-yard touchdown. The extra point was good, moving Morgan closer to Wilcox 27-17.
The game would get even more interesting later in the final period, when Adams scrambled out of the pocket and found Harrison Waters in the middle of the field. Waters would do the rest as he raced 83 yards through and away from the Wildcat defense for the touchdown with 4:06 left in the game.
The extra point was again good, making it the score 27-24 Wilcox.
Morgan’s defense forced Wilcox’s offense to punt on their next possession, giving Morgan the ball on their own 47-yard line with 2:24 to go.
The Senators would then drive down the field all the way to the Wildcat 16-yard line where the drive ended with 25 seconds left.