Morgan goes on the road

Published 1:32 am Wednesday, October 14, 2009

SELMA — Morgan Academy football coach Brian King knows what to expect from East Memorial Christian Academy during a rare Thursday night game.

He’s just not sure about playing a day earlier.

The EMCA Wildcats are 3-5 on the season, coming off a 41-6 loss to Fort Dale last week. For King and the Senators (3-4), EMCA is a roadblock.

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“They are standing in the way of us and the playoffs,” King said. “So I know they are going to play hard.”

As far as playing on Thursday night, the effect on the team is up in the air.

“Who knows? We’ve never done it,” King said. “It puts us in a short week and puts a lot of pressure on us to get ready in a hurry. And we had planned to practice in pads Monday, but the rain took care of that.”

Another wrinkle for the Senators will be playing on the Prattville High School field. This will be the first game on artificial turf for many Senators.

“The turf will be different for them,” King said after giving instructions to his kickoff and punt returners on how to handle the short grass. “They have to make sure they have their feet under them when they run or make a turn.”

The Senators have been picking up players who were injured earlier in the season, so King said he was glad to see them return.

“Those players who had been hurt are getting more reps now,” he said. “John Cox (6-1, 168, Sr., RB/DE) was back in there, and Cody Wheat (5-6, 167, Sr., RB/DB) played in only his third game all season.”

King said junior quarterback Austin Smitherman (6-1, 165) was doing well after he bruised his ankle in last week’s 21-0 victory over Bessemer.

After looking at video on EMCA, King said he has a lot of respect for the Wildcats.

“They beat Tuscaloosa Academy,” he said. “They’ll take a beating, but they won’t get down. They’ve got a lot of class.”