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No. 7 Morgan Academy spanks Clarke Prep

By Lew Gilliland

The Selma Times-Journal

The 34-6 score proves it was another productive night for the Morgan Academy offense in a win over Clarke Prep, but don’t dare overlook the work of the Senators’ defense Friday night.

That defense smothered the visiting Gators while the Morgan Academy offense hurt itself with a series of mistakes in the first half. Clarke Prep (0-3, 0-1) had 37 yards of total offense and one first down over the first two quarters of the AAA, Region 2 game.  “I’m thrilled with the defense,” Morgan Academy coach Danny Raines said. “They prepared well and played their tails off tonight. The defense kept bailing us out and kept playing good football. It could have been disheartening, but they just kept playing.”

No. 7-ranked Morgan Academy (2-0, 1-0) had three punts and a turnover through the first two quarters. The half ended with the Senators leading 8-0 on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Thomas to Allen Michael Creech at the 9:37 mark of the second period.

Among the defensive highlights was Andrew Morris holding Clarke Prep to a 1-yard gain on fourth-and-4.

After Clarke Prep cut it to 8-6 in the second half, Thomas and the offense responded with three TD passes. Those connections covered 13 yards to Cink Minter on fourth-and-3, 17 yards to Rhyne Williams (who made a leaping grab in the back of the end zone) and 53 yards to Williams.

Thomas closed 13 of 23 passing for 216 yards.

“We just did a good job of throwing and catching,” Raines said of the second-half turnaround offensively. “We had good matchups in different formations we got in and we attacked that.

“It’s a credit to those guys to come out in the second half and get it turned around in the right direction.”

Freshman Chase Brown had a 61-yard TD run in the fourth period. Morgan Academy finished with 412 yards of total offense and held Clarke Prep to 173.

Morris added an interception in the second half, and teammate Perrin Utsey recovered a Clarke Prep fumble.