By R. Alan Richardson
It’s been a busy week for the Morgan County Middle School teams with games taking place in football, softball, volleyball, and cross-country. All the teams did their school proud with wins coming in football and softball and a close loss in volleyball action.
The Middle School football team played host to Carver Middle School of Monroe/Walton County and squashed another opponent to the tune of a 49-0 win. This one was an example of the Bullpups whupping up on a lesser opponent and it started early. After Carver’s first possession that ended in a punt, Morgan took the ball on the 41 of Carver and scored on their first play from scrimmage. The end around reverse to Ty’Quarius Butler covered 59 yards and came with 4:07 in the first quarter. Nathan Camacho is making a name for himself in the kicking game with numerous touchbacks and extra points in the ballgame. He was good on his first try to make it 7-0.
The second score came after Marquarious Wright knocked down a pitch in Carver’s backfield that was recovered by Key Malone. This time it took only two plays for the Dogs to score on a sweep to Ze’Marion Butler around left end. Camacho was again good on the try and it was 14-0 with 22.4 seconds remaining in the first. On the ensuing kickoff by Bennett Ianelli, Ethan Mizell recovered a muffed catch that put the Dogs in great field position. Butler was at it again when quarterback Aijalon Edwards hit him on a 36 yard strike to the Carver one. After the horn sounded to end the quarter, Malone went in on the dive to give Morgan a 21-0 lead after Camacho nailed his third straight PAT.
The final score of the half came with only 29.0 seconds. After Morgan made a nice goal line stand that culminated in a Rogers Clark tackle on 4th and 11, the Dogs immediately went back to work. Butler caught another pass from Edwards when he cut in front of the defender, eluded a tackler, and scampered in for the touchdown from 46 yards out. Camacho made his first half performance perfect and the score stood at 28-0 at intermission.
On the second half kickoff, Butler continued his offensive onslaught when he returned the opening kickoff 78 yards. Morgan led 35-0 after the kick. After that, backup quarterback Demarcus (DJ) Smith got in on the action when he connected on a 29 yard touchdown pass to Wright on a 4th and 23 situation to make it 41-0 when the point after was blocked. The final score of the afternoon came when Edwards scrambled 41 yards after a bad snap for the TD. Camacho then showed some athleticism and speed on the PAT after a bad snap. He picked up the fumble and sprinted around right end for two points to make it a 49-0 final. The defense is stilled unscored on for the season.
Coach Michelle Osborn’s softball team hosted the Morgan County Middle School Invitational Saturday and enjoyed playing three games. The round-robin format saw Morgan lose to Social Circle (A) and Social Circle (B) before getting the victory over Putnam County in their final game of the season 16-5. The Lady Dogs batted around and then some in the first inning scoring nine runs and that was all she wrote. Emma Garrison and Destiny Hunter had big days at the plate with solid hits in all three contests while Tallie Ray was solid in the circle the entire day. Osborn said, “It feels great to get a win in our last game and end the season this way. We just need to keep our motivation going, work on what each individual player needs to improve on, and continue improving in the off-season. Our hitting has improved 100% since the beginning of the season. We got some big hits today. Destiny Hunter, Destiny Smith, and Emma (Garrison) came through every time at the plate when they needed to. They have been our big hitters today and throughout the season.”
Osborne is a MCHS alumnus with 11 years of coaching experience, but this is her first year back home. “It’s great to be back home. I hope these players will take our suggestions in the off-season. We’ve encouraged them to continue taking pitching lessons, hitting the batting cages as much as possible, join a travel ball team and keep playing.”
In a home match on Monday the Morgan County Middle School volleyball team lost to Oconee County Middle School 25-7 and 25-11 (A Squad) and 25-10 and 26-4 (B Squad). The Lady Warriors put a sound group on the floor that was much more experienced that Coach Angela Stapleton’s and Alan Shultz’s teams. That experience showed, but the girls gave a great effort in the loss.
Bright spots for Morgan in the first contest included solid serves from McKenzie Pitzer, Angel Binion, Sam Crowley, Ansley Shultz, and Addy Christian. The net play of Crowley was also outstanding while the all-out hustle from players diving and digging for balls was a highlight. Presley Hill was highly involved in that phase of the game.
The B squad played Oconee tough as well. The Lady Dogs got points on serves by Jillian Hunt, Aamiyah (Miyah) Jordan, Reagan McClain, Allie Cox, and Rylee Knight. In the second set with Oconee leading 18-9, Knight reeled off 11 straight service points to give Morgan a 21-18 advantage. The Lady Warriors roared back to gain a two-point lead at 24-22, but MOCO fought back to a 24-24 tie before Oconee closed things out by winning the final two points.
More middle school games can be seen this week with football on 9/27 vs. Putnam at home and volleyball competing at Jackson County High School on 9/30.