Mullins, Fort Dale run past Morgan

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Friday night Morgan Academy was trying to stop a trend of letting close games gradually get out of hand.

But Fort Dale was having none of it, ruining the Senators’ homecoming with a 28-0 win.

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Eagles tailback Blake Mullins ran up 170 rushing yards and a touchdown, and the passing game followed suit by beating Morgan (1-7, 1-5 AISA 3A Region 1) for a pair of deep scores.

“We felt like they were going to come out in the second half and come right as us,” Morgan coach Robert Gartman said. “They threw the ball to their two tight ends, and we obviously cannot cover the pass play. But we’re going to get that corrected. Hopefully, this will be the last time we’ll be this outmanned. We’ve got two winnable games coming up next.”

Mullins made his presence known loud and clear on a 98-yard drive midway through the second quarter in which he accounted for 97 yards on nine carries and reached the end zone for the game’s first score.

“We had been working on that all game,” Mullins said. “We had been stressing down blocking, and we made a couple of plays and came through.”

The Eagles (6-2, 5-1) were playing with a 7-0 lead after halftime.

Morgan wasn’t able to capitalize on Heath Brantley’s interception of a Davis Watts pass in the end zone because there was less than 30 seconds left in the first half.

The Senators instead opted to take a knee and go into the locker room.

Even with the struggles Morgan has been having all year with injuries and putting young players in the lineup, Fort Dale coach James Sampley wasn’t surprised at how tight the first half was.

“They were playing pretty good football,” Sampley said. “We knew we were probably going to outman them. They don’t have a whole lot of players on the sideline. They’re young kids, but they’re going to get better. Every time I see them they look better.”

Fort Dale broke Morgan’s back with a pair of long touchdown throws in the second half.

The first two passes Watts threw in the third quarter were 55-yard and 45-yard scores to Kyle Paez and Todd Burkett.

Watts completed 4-of-6 passes for 120 yards in the second half. He was just 3-for-10 with 33 yards and an interception in the first half.

The Senators got production from their bench in cleanup duty, something Gartman said encouraged him. Their leading rusher was freshman Joseph Watters with 44 yards on 13 carries.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors coming back, so maybe we’ll be on a level playing field next year,” Gartman said. “We’re going to be fine. I saw this coming. I think pretty much everyone saw this coming.”

The field position game was squarely in favor of Fort Dale. The Senators’ best start was on their 35-yard line, and the only two drives in which they made it past the 50 resulted in a punt and a turnover on downs.