Last week, Morton had the home field advantage against Kemper County. The Panthers had a difficult first half, but came back strong with the winning strategy in the second half to make a tremendous comeback. Winning by one point is still a victory, as Morton beat Kemper County 21-20.
Coach Ty Weems said, “When you play hard it’s amazing that you find out that good things also happen. In the second half, we had to go back to the drawing board defensively as far as how to close those lanes down. We did a great job second half — we shut them out second half. It’s not always who plays the best, but sometimes it comes down to who plays harder.” The Panthers made an outstanding effort in the second half for a from-behind win.
When asked about Kemper County’s team Coach Weems said, “Defensively they’re so big and so athletic. It’s hard to move the football on someone that big and athletic. We struggled a little in the second half; second half we found a little something that works against them in the second half. Our defense made a goal-line stand in the third quarter on the one-yard line to get us the ball back. We used that to drive the ball 99 yards to score to get us within a one score game. Our defense came up with an interception in the fourth quarter and we went ahead and took that and drove about 65 yards or so to score and take the lead. And they drove it back down and our defense came up with a stand (in the way of a quarterback sack on fourth down) in the end with about 50 seconds left to seal the deal.”
The defensive side of the game of football tends to be underrated. Coach Weems agreed and commented that, “Everybody comes to the game for the entertainment. They want to watch the offense, but the teams that usually play for state championships are the ones that have great defenses.” The Panthers defense came out in the second half, made some gameplay adjustments, and showed championship-level effort.
With 50 passing yards and 310 rushing yards, the Panthers stepped up, used the momentum they achieved in the second quarter, and pushed hard to win the game. With good effort there will come good results, which the Panthers proved true.
The Panthers will have a home game this week against the Choctaw Central Warriors. Weems said that they will be focusing this week on keeping the Warriors from advancing the ball with passes. “Choctaw Central will pass the ball 80 percent of the time” Coach Weems said. The record for the Warriors is 0-7, but they will still battle for a win against the Panthers.