Morgan comeback attempt falls short

Published 12:43am Saturday, September 21, 2013

By Shane Gaut

The Selma Times-Journal

For the second consecutive week, the Morgan Academy Senators found themselves trailing heavily at halftime. This week a 35-7 deficit to the No.2 ranked Tuscaloosa Academy Knights seemed too big of a hole to climb, and it ultimately was, but not before the Senators nearly pulled off a tremendous rally.

Tuscaloosa Academy ended up escaping Morgan Academy with its unblemished record Friday night, with a 45-36 victory but not before the Senators nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback from a 35-7 halftime deficit.

In the first half, it appeared the Senators didn’t have a solution for Tuscaloosa Academy’s power rushing attack, spearheaded by running back Dustin Jenkins.  Jenkins led the Knights with 137 yards and three touchdowns in the first half.  To make matters worse, the Senators committed four turnovers, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

With just seconds remaining in the first half, Morgan quarterback Harrison Adams threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Harrison Watters just to get the Senators on the board going into halftime.

For the second consecutive week, the Senators came out of halftime looking like a completely different team.

Adams, making his first career start at quarterback after senior Dalton Lee was injured in last week’s contest, showed composure and appeared poised in the pocket, leading his team 62 yards down the field and tossing a 12 yard touchdown pass to Chase Cammack on the opening possession of the second half. The point after was good, cutting the Knights lead to 35-14 with 7:28 left in the third quarter.

After holding Tuscaloosa to a field goal, the Senators were quick to put points up again.  This time Adams would run a quarterback sneak into the end zone from 27 yards out with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter, slicing Tuscaloosa’s lead to 38-21.

Adams threw a 28-yarder to Jamie Bearden with 11:37 left in the game, bringing Morgan within 38-27 and gave the Senators crowd life.A 24-yard field goal on their next possession pulled the Senators within eight, to 38-30 with 7:45 remaining in the contest, but they wouldn’t gain anymore ground.  Tuscaloosa would chew up nearly four minutes of clock and Austin Menard eventually scored to increase the Knights lead to 45-30.  Adams would throw one more touchdown pass to Woodham Kemmer with 90 seconds remaining, making the final score 45-36.

“I’m really proud our kids for fighting back tonight and we had a chance,” Taylor said. “We’re growing as a team, but we turned the ball over four times and you can’t win against good football teams when you do that.”

Morgan (2-2, 1-0) goes on the road to face Escambia Academy in a regional matchup next Friday.

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