Tough tests keep coming

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Morgan faces region’s top team in Clarke Prep

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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Clarke Prep surprised football minds all over the state when it beat Faith Academy and jumped to the top of the region standings.

There won’t be any surprises when Clarke visits Morgan Academy Friday night.

The Gators (5-0, 4-0 3A Region 1) play the style of football that’s always rough on opponents.

“They do a great job with the Wing T, and they’re real physical,” Morgan coach Robert Gartman said. “They’re just good ol’, raw-bone country boys. They don’t have great speed, but they’re strong and they execute pretty well.”

Every player in the Gators’ offensive backfield has the potential to burn Morgan with a big play.

The Senators (1-4, 1-3) have improved offensively themselves, but still aren’t seeing the kind of consistency they’re used to.

They’re hurting on both sides of the ball with the loss of lineman Braxton Fuller for the season due to an ankle injury.

“We’ll just take another kid and plug him in the same spot,” Gartman said. “That’s all we can do. We’ve got an offense we know will work if we get the right people to execute it. At times we’ve executed very well. Sometimes we haven’t. Even the other night (against Faith) we moved the ball well at times. Of course, when you’re playing a team that’s basically a 6A school, you’re not going to be consistent a whole lot.”

Pulling off an upset would be a grand stride for the Senators, who still are mathematically in the playoff race with three region games left.

They get to play in front of their home crowd, but that’s not completely reassuring.

Home field advantage for a game this tough isn’t going to make as much difference as how well the Senators play.

“I don’t think it makes 10 cents difference,” Gartman said. “I’d just as soon play on the road, except for the long bus ride home.”