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Morgan nearly shut out by Pike Liberal Arts

TROY — A 51-yard run by Joseph Watters was all that stood between Morgan Academy and a shutout loss to Pike Liberal Arts School the opening game of the season Friday night.

Pike outscored the Senators 23-7 en route to an opening season victory. The No. 8-ranked Patriots held No. 4 Morgan to 182 yards total offense on the night.

The Senators had a chance to tie the game with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Trailing 14-7, Morgan forced a turnover on the 5-yard line, and the Senators had the momentum in their favor.

But three plays later, Pike senior defensive lineman Phillip Quincey met Morgan quarterback Daniel Lee in the end zone for a safety and two points.

“I was so fired up after we got the safety, and it was such an incredible feeling,” Quincey said.

The Patriots got the ball back after the safety, and senior running back Jerel Foster put the game away with his second touchdown of the game with 4:05 showing on the clock.

After a scoreless first quarter, Foster busted an 18-yard run for the opening score of the game with 5:57 remaining in the second quarter.

An interception by Pike senior linebacker Corey Goodson set up the next Pike score. Junior quarterback Trey Walters led the Patriots down the field and connected with senior wide receiver Douglas Hawkins twice on an 8-play drive, the latter a 23-yard touchdown strike.

Morgan used only four plays to score on its first drive in the third quarter and cut the lead to 14-7.

Hawkins missed a 33-yard field goal with two minutes to go in the third. Pike scored a safety with eight minutes to go in the game, and Foster punched in his second touchdown for the final score.

Foster finished the game with 169 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns to lead Pike on the ground. Watters led the Senators with 70 yards rushing.