FDA tramples Morgan 24-7

Published 12:10 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

An unfaltering Fort Dale defense held Morgan Academy to a single score as the Eagles claimed their second region victory of the season with a 24-7 win over the visiting Senators.

The win improves the Eagles to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in region play, while the loss drops the Senators to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the region.

The Senators struggled on offense from their opening drive as the Eagles pinned them deep within their own territory, though a 45-yard punt erases Fort Dale’s strong field position.

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Despite the long field, a breakout run from FDA quarterback Luke Taylor consumed 44 yards, setting up dual 11-yard runs from Zach Winters and Zach Kendrick, with the latter earning the Eagles’ first score of the night.

The Senators blocked the PAT, leaving Fort Dale with a 6-0 advantage with 8:11 remaining in the first.

Taylor found open pasture on his second huge run of the night, taking the ball from the Eagles’ 37 to the Senators’ 38.

Taylor connected with Winters on a 17-yard pass.

Backed by his offensive line, Taylor pushed from the 2-yard line to pay dirt for an Eagle 12-0 lead with 3:30 remaining in the first.

Thanks to strong starting position at midfield, the third time proved the charm for the Morgan Academy offense as the Senators mounted a quick response with a 20-yard touchdown strike to make it 12-7 with 2:05 left in the first.

The Senator offense would continue to struggle in the quarters ahead as the Eagles found a groove on the ground and in the air. 

Taylor sent a 41-yard bomb to Winters, bringing the Eagles to the Senator 25-yard line near the close of the half.

Taylor scrambled for the 12 remaining yards to find the end zone for his second rushing touchdown to seal an 18-7 halftime lead.

A scoreless third quarter proved more costly for the Senators as time became the bigger concern.

Taylor burned the Senator defensive front again with his legs for his third rushing touchdown, this time from 24 yards out, to make it a three-score game with 11:53 left to play.

The Senators’ last ditch effort was foiled courtesy of an interception from Taylor, allowing the Eagles to eat into the remaining clock.

Fort Dale head coach James Sampley said that he was proud of his Eagles’ ability to play well-rounded football against important opponents as the regular season winds to a close.

“We are continuing to play well on defense, and our offense is clicking along,” Sampley said.

“This game was a really big win. But this late in the season, every week is just as big.”

Leading Eagle tackler Austin Phillips was similarly proud of the Eagles’ defensive performance.

“Our defense is playing strong and doing well,” he added.

“Our secondary is good, and we are playing all-around good defense.”

Taylor was 6 for 9 in the air for 102 passing yards, and he picked up another 181 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Winters led all receivers with 74 yards on three catches.

Phillips lead the Eagles defense with 9 tackles, backed by Taylor and Jason Little with 8 apiece.

Region play continues for both the Eagles and the Senators as Fort Dale travels to Monroe and Morgan hosts Northside Methodist Friday.