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Wheat leads Morgan over EMCA

PRATTVILLE — In a rare Thursday night road game, the Morgan Academy Senators displayed another dominating defensive performance and ran their Class AAA Region 2 record to 4-1 with a 41-16 pasting of East Memorial Christian Academy at Stanley-Jensen Stadium.

With a steady rain during the first half, the Senators struck first when junior QB Austin Smitherman hit a well-covered Joseph Watters on a 35-yard pass play down the left sideline. McCain Levins added the PAT and Morgan led 7-0.

EMCA (3-5, 1-4) answered with a drive of its own down to the Morgan 4-yard line, but the Senators capitalized when Jody Glover recovered a Wildcat fum ble in the end zone.

That’s when senior running back Cody Wheat took charge on the first play from scrimmage and rambled 79 yards around right end to the Wildcats’ 1-yard line. He then scored on the next play from scrimmage. Levins again added the PAT making the score 14-0.

Wheat finished the night with 187 yards on 11 carries with 174 of those yards in the first half.

“This is the best we’ve looked on offense all year,” said Senators head coach Brian King. “We’ve been working on getting better week to week and the offensive line is looking more and more comfortable. Things seem to be coming together all at once.”

Wheat added his second TD, scampering 82 yards with only seconds remaining in the first half. The PAT was good and Morgan (4-4) took a 21-0 lead into the locker room.

A Smitherman to John Cox 18-yard pass tacked on a TD in the third quarter to make the score 27-0. But the Wildcats began to show a little spark when QB Shawan Parks raced around right end for a touchdown. Parks also added the 2-point PAT.

“They’ve got a good offense,” King said. “They ran the ball really good on us around the edges, but our defensive backs played great all night.”

Morgan added two more TDs in the fourth quarter; one by Morgan reserve QB Walker Mason from 3 yards out and one by Heath Brantley, who intercepted a Parks pass and returned it 52 yards for a TD.

Smitherman finished the night 6-for-7 for 90 yards and two TDs. Leading the defense was Crawford Traylor with nine tackles and Frankie Wilbourne with eight tackles.

The Senators entertain Prattville Christian in a key Region 2 game next Friday.