The Tallulah Academy Trojans improved to 4-3 overall Friday night on the road in Pearl, Miss. after dismantling Discovery Christian 58-24.
TA Head Coach Bart Wood said his team performed well on both sides of the ball, adding he was especially pleased with how well the Trojans gelled after more than a week off practice while dealing with COVID-19-related issues.
“We’re probably the healthiest we’ve been all season,” Wood said. “Hayes Hopkins had a broken collar bone and that took longer to get back from then we originally thought, but this last week was his first week back. We’ve had three broken arms and they’re back; a concussion and he’s back. And I was just proud of the execution after not practicing for almost two weeks. We had one walk-through and to go play a team like this after we hadn’t practiced, was really good.”
On offense, the Trojans didn’t miss a beat after its game with Claiborne Academy was canceled in early October.
“Offensively, we could have scored every time, I think,” Wood said. “We ran six plays, I believe, that we didn’t score on.”
The Trojans got on the board quickly in the first quarter of Friday’s matchup with an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dee Morgan to running back Paul Michael Machen. Morgan added the 2-point conversion with a pass to Cade Morgan to give TA an 8-0 lead.
The Trojans continued to pour it on early, as Judd Dennis returned a Discovery fumble 32 yards for a touchdown and the Morgan-to-Morgan connection worked again through the air for a second 2-point conversion. TA would go up 28-0 in the first quarter after Morgan found Jackson Fontenot for a 25-yard touchdown pass and later Landry Tweedle took the ball 52 yards to the house on the ground.
An early second-quarter score for the Trojans made it 36-0 after Wyatt Bedgood added a 65-yard touchdown run and Henry Ellerbee punched it in for the 2-point conversion.
Discover found some life in the second frame with a 5-yard touchdown run and a fumble recovery returned for a score, but Dee Morgan would respond for TA with a 56-yard touchdown run and another 2-point conversion through the air to Cade Morgan.
A 28-yard touchdown run from Discovery would be the only points of the third quarter, but TA would cap things off with two fourth-quarter scores – a 37-yard touchdown strike from backup QB Henry Ellerbee to Judd Dennis and a 40-yard touchdown run from Cole Ezell. Peyton Machen tacked on the 2-point conversion on the ground and the Trojans exited its road game with a lopsided victory.
Dee Morgan finished the night for TA with one touchdown on the ground and one through the air. Paul Michael Machen led the Trojans in rushing with 80 yards and a score, while Tweedle and Bedgood followed, each with 65 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively for the Trojans, Davis Black led the way with 15 total tackles, including 12 solo, three assists, a tackle for a loss and one interception.
The Trojans will be back in action Friday at home in Tallulah on Senior Night facing Newton Academy. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at R.A. “Racer” Holstead Memorial Stadium.