Morgan Academy stumbles at Tuscaloosa Academy

Published 10:53 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

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By Lew Gilliland

The Selma Times-Journal

Missed opportunities by Morgan Academy and two big plays by host Tuscaloosa Academy resulted in a 17-7 victory for the Knights on Friday.

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With the loss, Morgan Academy (4-4, 2-2) fell out of contention for the AAA, Region 2 title. The Senators have one region game left, at Fort Dale Academy, next Friday. Morgan Academy still has the chance to host a first-round playoff game.

Tuscaloosa Academy (4-4, 4-0) maintained its hold on first place in the region.  “It was a great high school football game,” Morgan Academy coach Danny Raines said. “Both teams played hard and played well. They made a play or two more than we did. We had drives and chances to score and didn’t capitalize on those. Our defense played great. You can play well and still come out on the short end of the stick, and that was the case for us tonight.”

Morgan Academy saw four drives deep into Tuscaloosa Academy territory end on downs. Part of the problem was Tuscaloosa Academy’s run defense, which limited the Senators to 83 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Andrew Thomas had a solid night for the Senators, completing 18 of 26 passes for 200 yards. Teammate Cink Minter caught seven passes for 127 yards.

Morgan Academy defense also had a solid night. With the Senators trailing by 10 points the entire second half, the Morgan Academy D kept finding ways to shut the Knights down.

What the Senators couldn’t do was overcome those two big plays by the Knights.

The first was a 47-yard touchdown pass from David McNeil to Carson Claytor that gave Tuscaloosa Academy a 10-0 lead with 3:37 left in the first quarter.

Morgan Academy answered on its next possession, moving 70 yards on 10 plays, with John Allen Ingram scoring the touchdown from 3 yards out at the 11:12 mark of the second quarter and cutting the margin to 10-7.

Tuscaloosa Academy was hit with a personal foul penalty on the drive. Other big plays during the possession were a 16-yard run by Chase Brown and passes of 11 yards from Thomas to Allen Lightfoot and 10 yards to Minter.

The second big play came on the second-half kickoff, which Tuscaloosa Academy’s Jack Standeffer returned 90 yards for a touchdown and a 17-7 advantage. Morgan Academy would drive into Tuscaloosa Academy territory twice in the second half, only to get stopped on downs.

Patton Turnipseed gave the Knights a 3-0 lead via a 32-yard field goal in the first half.