Senators snubbed in OT

Published 1:07 am Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Morgan Academy defense held the offensive minded Southern Academy scoreless for the first 41 minutes of Friday night’s home game.

But the Senators (2-4) yielded a touchdown with seven minutes left in regulation and another in overtime to suffer their third consecutive loss of the season, 14-7.

“The guys played hard and did the best they could,” said Morgan coach Robert Gartman. “We played our best defense since 2005, but couldn’t get anything going on offense.”

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The Senators got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter on a 70-yard, 10-play drive that started in the first quarter and was capped on a 10-yard end around by Joseph Watters. It ended up the only sustained drive in the game for Morgan.

The Senator defense rose to the occasion over and over throughout the game, including thwarting the Cougar attack three consecutive times in the first half. Each time No. 2 Southern (6-0) was inside the Morgan 30-yard line, including a fumble recovery by Taylor Bone.

Its bend but don’t break mentality, led by the hard hitting senior linebacker Heath Harrelson and junior defensive tackle Lanny Harrison, continued in the third quarter. Morgan forced Southern to use its three second half time outs less than six minutes into the quarter.

The passing tandem of Sam Kelley to Coleman McClendon (eight catches) helped the Cougars to 11 first downs to sustain its drives. A 17-yard pass from Kelley to Stephen Averette tied the contest with seven minutes left on the clock in the fourth quarter.

Both Morgan and Southern failed with each of their attempts to score in the last drives of regulation.

The Senators’ two possessions resulted in a punt and a turnover on downs.

The Cougars last attempts resulted in an interception by Reid Fondren and an expired clock.

Southern reached the end zone on three plays on the first possession of overtime when Kelley hit McClendon on a slant. Morgan quarterback Daniel Lee fell just short of the goal line on fourth down from three yards out to end the game.

“They came at us with a lot of pride,” said Cougar coach Shaun Bonds said of Morgan. “Penalties hurt us, but sometimes you have to take a win any way you can.”