Clash of the champions

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2006

GREENSBORO – Last years’ Alabama Independent School Association Class A and Class AAA football champs clashed in a pre-season jamboree on Southern Academy’s Lawson Field.

The reigning Class A champs, the Southern Academy Cougars, held on to a 6 – 0 win over the Morgan Academy Senators, last years Class AAA champions. “We did some things good and we did some things bad,” said Cougar coach Shaun Bond. “I didn’t know where we were going to be coming into the game. And I felt like we would make some mistakes.”

Both offenses struggled throughout game. Southern, however was able to take advantage of field position early in the second quarter and scored from five yards out. John Kynard barreled his way through the Morgan defense to give SA the only score of the game. The point after failed.

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The Cougars missed a field goal opportunity in the opening quarter after recovering a fumbled punt return by the Senators.

Morgan turned the ball over five times; three fumbles and two interceptions. “I saw what I expected,” stated Morgan coach Robert Gartman. “I saw a very good football team from Southern. I saw us as ragged in the first have with a lot of new starters. But a lot of improvement in the second half.”

Morgan had an opportunity to get on the board in the fourth quarter with less then four minutes left in the game. They drove from their own 48 yard line and moved the ball all the way to the Southern nine. But on fourth down and six yards to go with 32 seconds left in the game, the Cougar defense held and that sealed the game for Southern Academy.

“We still got a lot of work to do,” added Bonds, “though we got the win. Morgan, who’s ranked number one in AISA, is a good team. They were knocking us off the ball in our base defense, so we had to go to the stunt game. But our guys made defensive plays when they had to.”

Nathan Bonds led the defense with four tackles and one fumble recovery. Matt Bouler rushed for 76 yards to lead the offensive attack. Southern will host Tuscaloosa Academy to open the regular season August 25.