Morgan faces first road test at Monroe

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

It’d be hard to imagine that even a mortal enemy would wish the fortune Morgan is having.

Already dealing with injuries to key players, the Senators go into their second game of the season counting even more losses.

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The team lost running back Rhett Rhyne in last Friday’s game to an ankle injury, and he will be out for six or seven games, according to coach Robert Gartman. Donnie Hogg, who broke his leg in the team’s jamboree game at Southern Academy, will be out for the same amount of time.

Morgan will also be without Murray Keisler until midseason, and Clint Maroney is questionable for this week’s game.

Quarterback Brad Averitt exited Friday’s game with cramps, but will play against Monroe.

Had the circumstances been different against Macon-East, Morgan might have been in the hole to start the season.

“If we hadn’t been 11-time state champions and been playing at home, we would have gotten beaten by two or three touchdowns,” Gartman said.

That’s a bleak thought for a team defending an AISA title on the AAA level.

It’s not like reality had not set in hard for the team already.

The Senators were regrouping from the loss of 21 seniors. Those kinds of numbers cut starters and backups at most positions.

Morgan plays what might be one of the most winnable games on its schedule this week.

Then again, the team has to travel, and at this point, it can’t take anything for granted.

“They’re a real young team; they play a lot of 10th graders,” Gartman said. “They spread the field, try to go four and five wide. Anytime you do that, and you have a new coach and a new system to learn, it’s going to be difficult. But in time, they’ll be a good football team.”

Morgan’s game plan won’t change much, not even with its numbers decreased.

“Most everybody knows what we run,” Gartman said. “It’s the same thing every week. Whoever the next player is, we’ll stick him in there. We haven’t made any adjustments.”