Morgan routes Southern Academy

Published 1:15 am Saturday, October 30, 2010

A group of Morgan Academy defenders, led by Ethan Fancher (45), Cobb Bostick (56) and Adam King (53), converge on a Southern Academy Cougar running back Friday in Selma. -- Dennis Palmer photo

SELMA — In its last regular season game of the year, John Tyler Morgan Academy got 198 yards rushing from junior tailback Parker Hughes and routed the visiting Southern Academy Cougars 47-20.

The Senators never trailed in the game and were kick started by Joseph Watters, who returned the opening kickoff 64 yards setting up their first score.

The Cougars (4-6) hung tough the first half and answered Morgan almost score for score until late in the second quarter. With Morgan leading 27-20, the Cougars tried a little trickery with an onside kick, but it failed and set the Senators up in good field position. On the next play, Morgan quarterback Austin Smitherman, who was 6-of-7 for 121 yards through the air, bolted in for a 50-yard touchdown. Morgan capitalized on another Southern miscue a few seconds later when the Senators (7-3, 4-2 Class 3A, Region 2) recovered a fumble deep in Cougar territory. After a three-minute drive, Hughes busted through the line for a score to close out the first half with the Senators on top, 41-20.

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“We tried to pooch kick it and missed the darn ball and you don’t give a short field to this bunch, not with all that speed,” said Cougars’ head coach Shaun Bonds. “And then we had a turnover and it went from a seven point game to a 20-point game in three minutes.”

Morgan head coach Brian King said things seem to be coming together at the right time for his bunch as the offense continues to gel under new offensive coordinator Bob Taylor. Now the Senators look to the first round of the playoffs next week at Fort Dale Academy, who lost Thursday night to Edgewood and enter the playoffs at 7-3 and 5-1 in Region 2.

“We’re just more comfortable in what they’re doing,” King said of his team. “Coach Taylor threw a lot of stuff at them early with the expectation they would be able to run all of it at the end of the season and it’s running according to plan. They have confidence and the easier schedule down the stretch has allowed us to put the kind of points up we have.”

Defensively, the Senators held Southern to 154 total yards with Ethen Fancher leading the way with seven tackles. Dillan Steward, Paul Kirk Jones and Watters added five tackles each.

Next week’s game in Greenville is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to buy their playoff tickets at Morgan so the school can benefit from the ticket sales.