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Morgan Academy looks to keep rolling vs. Clark Prep

By Lew Gilliland

The Selma Times-Journal

Just about everything that could go right seemed as if it did for Morgan Academy in a 46-22 victory over Wilcox Academy to open the season last week.

The Senators had a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver, and threw for more than 250 yards. Five players made seven or more tackles, and Morgan Academy rolled to a 38-6 halftime lead.

After reaching the state semifinals a year ago, the Senators started the new season looking intent on getting back there – or beyond – in 2021.

“I was really pleased with our kids,” Morgan Academy coach Danny Raines said. “I thought they did a good job playing against a good team. They have most of their team back from last year … I was tickled with how we did and I hope we can keep it up.”

Raines said a balanced offense is a blessing and praised the work of his front line in making that happen.

“Our line did a great job,” he said. “These kids have done a great job working and getting ready to go.”

The unit includes center Sam Garner, right guard Thomas Smitherman, right tackle Andrew Morris, left guard Lane Nichols, left tackle Hunter Sheehan and tight end Cink Minter.

Among the defensive leaders in the opener were linebacker Trey Jones (10 tackles), linebacker Allen Michael Creech (nine), linebacker Alston Moring (eight), tackle Hunter Sheehan (seven) and end Perrin Utsey (seven).

Next up for Morgan Academy is a AAA, Region 2 matchup against Clarke Prep (0-2). The Gators lead the all-time series 6-5, but the Senators won last year’s game 37-34.

“They’ll be a good football team,” Raines said. “They’ve played two really good teams to start off. We’ll have to play well. They’re big and physical … and they like to throw it offensively.”

Clark Prep, which works out of the spread, lost to Jackson Academy, 12-0, and Patrician Academy, 46-7, respectively, the last two weeks.

Still, Raines knows winning won’t be easy, in part because of Clark Prep’s size. The coach added that starting 1-0 in the region would be huge, making this a playoff-type game.

“We’re going to have to do a good job on the line,” he said. “They’re going to challenge us in the secondary, so we’ll have to do well there. We’ll have to take care of the ball on offense, and, hopefully, we can run it and throw it again and be balanced on offense.”