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Morgan Academy punches ticket to AISA State playoffs

Morgan Academy used a little trickery in its state playoff qualifer against Tuscaloosa Academy.

Holt Utsey ran for almost 200 yards and Cink Minter had two interceptions as the Senators prevailed 30-13 on Friday night at Morgan Stadium.

The Senators (6-2, 3-1) clinched a home first-round playoff game on Nov. 6.

“I’m very thankful to the Lord for these coaches, players and the players’ parents,” Senators coach Danny Raines said.

The Senators-Knights contest was so big that Raines’ daughter, Sara Raines, flew in from Fort Worth to attend.

Utsey ran 28 times for 197 yards and scored three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 4, 14 and 16 yards.

But it was the Senators’ defense, led by Minter’s two interceptions, stole the show. Minter had a 80 yard interception return called back for a holding penalty.

“It feels great to beat a good team and help clinch a home playoff game,” Minter said. “All I did was follow the ball.”
   The Senators took control from the start, leading 6-0 after one quarter on Utsey’s first touchdown.

Utsey’s second touchdown padded the Senators’ lead to 13-0.

After the Knights closed within 13-7, the Senators used a trick play.

Chris Gardner threw a halfback pass to quarterback Andrew Thomas for a 9-yard TD play, giving Morgan Academy a 20-7 halftime lead.

The Senators padded their lead to 23-7 after three quarters on Wade Mason’s 32-yard field goal.

Tuscaloosa Academy scored on a reverse to make it 23-13 with 11:51 left.

Utsey’s 16-yard TD run with 9:00 left closed the game’s scoring.