MORGAN CITY — The last time Morgan City started out a season 5-0, the current Morgan City High School football team was either in elementary or junior high school.
After trudging through adversity and multiple losses through the years, the 2012 team has a chance with a win against Franklin Friday to not only match the school’s best start since 2007 but also match last year’s win total with four more games to go.
That, in itself, makes Friday’s game special for the local squad, whether they realize the significance or not.
If they don’t, they can draw motivation from the fact that Franklin High (2-3) defeated them in the St. Mary Parish Jamboree this year, 6-0.
The two teams, which are quite familiar with each as they have scrimmaged and played one another in the regular season in recent years, will meet Friday in a non-district contest at Franklin High.
While Morgan City coach Brandon Nowlin acknowledged the significance of what a victory Friday could bring, he said, “It’s only special if you continue to keep doing well and keep putting wins up.”
Therefore, his squad’s focus is on Franklin at the moment.
In the jamboree, penalties plagued Morgan City as the Tigers had more penalty yards (50) than total offense (43).
The penalties eliminated big plays, too, such as a 25 yard pass from MCHS quarterback Hoang Nguyen to receiver Jalen Jones on the third play of the game as well as negating much of a long run by Morgan City’s Eric Walker due to a holding penalty.
The Tigers did have their moments in the jamboree, though, as they held the Hornets to minus 15 yards rushing and turned away Franklin’s threat to score at the end of the first half when junior quarterback Jarion Brown fumbled a snap from the Tigers’ 13-yard line.
In the jamboree, Brown completed six of 10 passes for 132 yards with a touchdown and an interception apiece.
Franklin’s lone score came on its initial drive when Brown connected with senior Derrick Kelly behind a Tiger defender for a 47 yard touchdown pass with 6:27 remaining in the first half. Brandon McFarlane’s extra point was no good following the touchdown.
Now, approximately a month later, Nowlin said he expect to see the Hornets run offensive schemes like they did in the jamboree. However, he said the Hornets were “pretty basic” in the exhibition contest.
“They’ve become pretty multiple in what they do,” he said.
On Friday, Nowlin said he expects the Hornets to try to run inside against Morgan City as well as use some option and counter plays.
He expects passing, too.
“They have a quarterback (Brown) that’s a dual threat type kid that can run it as well as throw it,” Nowlin said.
The third-year MCHS coach said his secondary will be challenged this week.
“Hopefully they will respond to the challenge, and (we) can get some pressure on the quarterback,” he said.
Although there is the threat of the pass, Nowlin said the Tigers first chore on defense, however, would be to halting the Hornets’ running game.
When the Hornets line up on defense, Nowlin said Franklin would bring pressure at times. He said they appear to be playing more zone defense now, too.
The Tigers’ coach said the Tigers’ offense would have to be solid with their blocks and execute when they have the opportunity.
Nowlin said he didn’t think either team had an advantage or disadvantage having played each other already this year.
Rather, he said, which team has improved the most from the jamboree and execution Friday will determine success.