Senators cruise to win over Wilcox
SELMA — Morgan Academy made the most of three Wilcox Academy turnovers in the first half to take a 29-0 lead and cruise to a 42-12 victory in their last regular-season game.
The win moves the Senators to 6-4 on the season (5-1 Region 2) and sets them up for a first-round playoff game at home against Macon East Montgomery Academy.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start,” said Senators’ head coach Brian King. “But (Wilcox) came back and didn’t quit.”
Morgan struck early in the first quarter after the Wildcats fumbled the opening kickoff and the Senators recovered on Wilcox’s 23 yard line. Two minutes later senior running back Cody Wheat bulled in for a touchdown from two-yards out. Lanny Harrison’s conversion pass to Wheat put the Senators up 8-0.
After the Senators struck again on a 53-yard pass play from junior quarterback Austin Smitherman to John Cox to make the score 15-0, another Wilcox miscue dug them a deeper hole. A bad snap on a punt deep in their own territory set the Senators up on the 5-yard line, where Smitherman scored two plays later. Harrison again added the PAT to put the Senators up 22-0.
“You can’t give them 22 points from the beginning and expect to win,” said Wildcats head coach Chris Burford. “We’re playing a lot of young kids. We started slow, but we fought back. Morgan has a lot of speed, a lot of class and they play hard.”
Morgan added another TD late in the first half to run the score to 29-0, but with just four seconds left Wilcox scored from 32-yards out on a tipped pass. Morgan’s Hain Beers thwarted the two-point conversion by sacking the quarterback.
Wilcox added another TD in the third quarter when Steven Frasier picked off a Walker Mason pass and returned it for a TD to make the score 29-12.
Morgan added TDs on runs by McCain Levins and Jody Glover, who made a spectacular run around left end for a 41-yard touchdown.
“Jody had mono at the beginning of the year and he didn’t come back until the fifth game of the season,” King said. “He’s got fresh legs while all the other guys are kind of beat up.”
Looking ahead to Macon East King said the Senators got a good draw for the first round of the playoffs.
“They’re the team I’d like to face first. They’re very good, but I think we match up good with them,” he said. “We just need to do a better job of sustaining our drives on offense and not giving up the big play on defense. We also have to take care of the ball. When we don’t turn it over, we play great.”
While he thinks his team matches up well with Macon East, King admits it won’t be a cake walk. The Knights’ two losses came at the hands of Lee Scott (20-19) and last year’s state champions, Pike Liberal (49-21).
“And they beat Fort Dale, who is ranked number one in the state right now,” he said. “So we’re really going to need everybody to come out and support us Friday night. Our crowds have gotten bigger and louder as the season has gone along and our cheerleaders are doing a great job as are our water girls. They sacrifice a lot of time to help us.”
Kickoff with Macon East is scheduled for 7 p.m.