Union Local falls short to Morgan
Visiting Morgan’s double-wing offensive philosophy brings to mind the game plan employed by the Paul Johnson-led Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Well, if the Raiders are trying to impersonate the Ramlin’ Wreck, then Morgan’s 6-foot, 240-pound fullback Justin Head is the big rig wrecker.
The junior’s low pad level and hard pumping legs plowed through the Jets’ defensive with reckless abandon, resulting in 264 yards on 28 carries and a 20-0 win for the visitors.
Union Local tried to slow down Head, but after being repeatedly bashed with the Raiders’ mobile battering ram for four quarters, there was little the Jets could do.
“They just pounded the ball on us,” Union Local coach Mark Cisar said as his team fell to 0-2, the team’s 21st straight loss. “We knew that was their game plan coming in.
“They were very physical and beat us up on the line on both sides.”
Morgan’s first score came during its initial possession as Head broke through six tackles in covering 28 yards for the touchdown. It capped a 5-play, 45-yard drive with Head accounting for all but 2 yards.
Given the workload, Head routinely needed a short breather on the sideline. Early on, if he wasn’t toting the leather, Morgan (1-1) wasn’t moving the ball.
The problem was, neither was Union Local.
The right side of the Raiders’ defensive front, led by junior defensive tackle Justin Greer had little problem getting into the backfield and creating havoc.
In an attempt to provide his team the best chance to move the ball, Cisar opted to shift Eric Dunfee into the backfield for a three-back set.
It worked for a time. Dunfee finished with 37 yards on seven carries, most of which came during two drives in the second quarter.
“He runs hard and that also allowed us to use our best two blockers in front of him,” Cisar said. “We had a little success with that, but they made some pretty good adjustments.”
After Kaleb Driggs barreled in from 4-yards out for a 14-0 lead in the third quarter, UL finally started to move the ball vertically.
Gavin Porter hit 4 of 5 pass attempts on a drive that started at the UL 35, advancing the ball to the Morgan 35 on a 23-yard connection with Kaleb McDiffitt.
But Porter was injured on the play and had to miss the rest of the series.
Trenton Tipton came in and actually completed his first pass deep into Raiders’ territory, only to see the gain nullified by an illegal shift.
The next two plays saw Tipton get sacked and forced to scramble away after a bad shotgun snap for another loss. That ended the Jets’ best scoring opportunity of the night. UL had a few other decent drives but were victimized by key drops in critical situations.
“Football is a game of execution,” Cisar said. “Morgan executed and we didn’t. We didn’t make the big plays we needed to make.”
Porter finished with 118 yards passing, completing 12 of 26 attempts.
Dunfee was his leading receiver, snagging three passes for 48 yards.
Driggs backed Head with 53 yards on eight carries for the Raiders, who completed just one of four passes for 10 yards.
Morgan finished with 17 first downs to UL’s nine.