Football Previews: Morgan to play in Selma for only second time all year

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2016

 The Morgan Academy defense wraps up a Southern Academy ballcarrier during a preseason scrimmage between the two schools. --File Photo

The Morgan Academy defense wraps up a Southern Academy ballcarrier during a preseason scrimmage between the two schools. –File Photo

Morgan Academy has survived a brutal stretch to begin its season and is in position to compete for its first playoff spot since 2011.

The Senators will host Clarke Prep Friday in a much-earned home game. It’s not a region game, but a win would ensure Morgan (4-2) finishes the season no worse than .500.

The Senators have been on the road almost all season. They opened the year with a road game against Edgewood at Faulkner University and played one game at home in the five weeks that followed.

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“We knew if we could get out of this first half healthy and making strides as a football team, we would have a good shot down this backstretch,” said Morgan coach Josh Thacker of his team’s schedule. “That’s what we’ve done. We’ve grown as a team and we’ve stayed healthy, so we’ve been lucky there.”

Morgan plays four of its final five games in Selma, but three of the four are against teams currently ranked in the Alabama Sports Writers Association rankings.

Clarke Prep (1-4) is the only Senators’ home opponent in that stretch that isn’t currently ranked, but Thacker said that doesn’t mean the Gators aren’t talented.

“They are not your typical 1-4 football team,” Thacker said. “They played a tough slate — Tuscaloosa Academy, Jackson Academy, Pike Lib — they’ve had a tough go at it. They’ve been in every football game they’ve played. They may be 1-4 but they don’t’ look like a 1-4 football team.”

The Senators come in after back-to-back wins over Glenwood Academy and Hooper Academy. Clarke Prep lost last week’s game to Tuscaloosa Academy 27-6.

“They are a very physical, like to run between the tackles, wing-T football team,” Thacker said.

“They do a great job at what they do and they are always going to do that. They are well coached and they are a classy bunch. They are going to get after you.”

The Senators also like to line up and run it right at teams with a Wing-T style of offense. Thacker said his team has grown a lot this year, but no unit has grown more than the offensive line, which was viewed as a question mark entering the year.

“Really, really surprised and pleased with our offensive line,” he said. “We really thought that would be a question mark for our football team. Those guys have really stepped up the last few weeks.”

The Senators are averaging about 250 yards per game, with running backs Sam Brackin and Brayton Brown leading the way.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


Meadowview Christian at Victory Baptist-Millbrook

Meadowview Christian (1-4) is running out of time to make a playoff push. Last season, Victory Baptist knocked Meadowview out of the Christian Football Association playoffs with a 32-16 victory in Selma.

In the preseason, this matchup looked like a potential playoff preview, but right now it’s a game the Trojans need to win to get back into the hunt.
Northridge at Selma

Coming off its first win of the season, Selma (1-4) will look to keep the momentum going against class 6A, region 6 foe Northridge (1-5). If the Saints have any hopes of making the playoffs they’ll likely need to win their last four region games, starting with this one against the Jaguars.

Northridge’s only victory came over Brookwood, a team Selma plays next week.
Ellwood at Notasulga

It’s nearly been a month since Ellwood Christian (1-5) scored a point offensively, but the Eagles haven’t played an easy schedule either. Over the last three weeks, Ellwood lost in shutouts to A.L. Johnson, Loachapoka and top-ranked Maplesville. Putting points on the board may not be much easier Friday.

This week the Eagles play a Notasulga (3-2) team that has only given up 12 points in its last two games. The Blue Devils also held Maplesville to a season low 40 points in early September.
Dallas co. at Demopolis

If Dallas County wants to seriously contend in class 5A, region 3, the Hornets have to defeat Demopolis on Friday night. The Hornets (2-3) are coming off a difficult 52-14 loss to Maplesville, but sit at 1-1 in region play with every goal still in front of them.

A win still allows Dallas County to contend for the region title, while a loss would put the Hornets behind three teams with three region games to go. Demopolis has won the last two meetings by an average score of 41-9.
Francis Marion at Keith

Keith (2-3) couldn’t hang with Southside last week in a 32-14 defeat, but the Bears are still major factors in the class 2A, region 4 playoff race. The Bears sit at 1-1 in region play entering Friday and have a chance to pull into second place in the standings with a win over winless Francis Marion (0-5).

The Rams come into Friday following blowout losses to Billingsley and Aliceville.
B.B. Comer at Southside

A Southside win on Friday would clinch the first non-losing season for the Panthers since 2005. The Panthers would also inch closer to a playoff berth if they could manage to beat the Tigers (0-5).

B.B. Comer will look to spoil Southside’s homecoming celebration by earning its first win of the year. B.B. Comer comes in off its closest game of the season, a 30-8 defeat to Talladega County Central last week.