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Morgan returns to region play against Tuscaloosa

Following Morgan’s 17-7 loss to Lee-Scott Academy on Friday, Senator coach Robert Gartman found a silver lining.

The Senators (2-2, 2-0) are still undefeated in Region 2 of AISA Class AAA.

“It’s rather depressing to lose to anybody, but you have to look at the bright side and see that we’re still undefeated in the region,” said Gartman.

The Senators return to region play against Tuscaloosa Academy on Friday at Senator Field.

The Knights (4-1, 2-1) trail the Senators in Region 2. A loss places both teams in a second-place tie with the Knights.

The Knights have only made two playoff appearances since losing to the Senators in the 1991 Class A state finals. Gartman thinks the 2008 Tuscaloosa team may be even better.

“We are going to be playing possibly the best Tuscaloosa team in history,” he said. “I think this team that they’ve got this year is better than the one they had then.”

Friday’s contest will be a game of contrast. The Knights run only a handful of times each game, relying almost entirely on the pass. To this point, the Senators’ attack has displayed the exact opposite.

Their reliance on the run has allowed opposing defenses to stack the line and show little respect to the pass.

“They’ve been crowding the line and daring us to pass,” said Gartman.

But opposing game plans may soon change.

Backup quarterback Austin Smitherman, who shares time with Daniel Lee, missed two games due to injury, Gartman said he is 90 percent healthy and will be available to play against Tuscaloosa.

Despite the Senators’ 2-2 start Gartman thinks the team will make a run. He sees a young group with a lot of room left for improvement.

“We’ve got a lot more football left,” he said. “We should make the playoffs, unless we stumble along the way.”