Morgan stars in Cardinals’ win over PV
PINE GROVE – Panther Valley will never forget the “night moves” that Pine Grove’s elusive jitter-bugging, hip swiveling senior all-purpose athlete Shea Morgan performed here on Senior Night.
Morgan lit up the home scoreboard with three touchdowns, caught three passes for 106 yards and kicked all seven extra points to lead the Cardinals to an impressive 49-6 victory in this Schuylkill Football League matchup.
Morgan, who stands 5-10 and weights just 155 pounds, tore apart the sometimes overly aggressive Panther Valley defense.
It all commenced on the eighth offensive play of the evening for Morgan as he worked himself free on a well-run corner route. Sophomore quarterback Mason Kroh, the team’s normal backup who was thrust into a starting role last night, pinpointed a strike to Morgan resulting in the first of seven touchdowns for the eventual winners.
On Pine Grove’s second possession, Morgan took a shovel-pass from Kroh and took off on a 51-yard run for a 14-0 lead. While the Panthers were sputtering on offense, there was nary an issue for the veteran Cardinals.
They quickly added a third touchdown on a one-play series as one-time Blue Mountain standout Brody Robinson took off on a 47-yard TD jaunt.
With 1:36 to play until the half, Morgan was dancing his way to paydirt after catching a 43-yard pass from Kroh. The touchdown extended the Cardinals’ lead to 28-0..
That four touchdown runoff was interrupted to begin the second half, when Panther Valley put its only points on the board. The score seemed to be a potential kick-start the Panthers would need to answer the deficit. It took two plays to make it to paydirt, and none other than fleet-footed Louis Clouser was the playmaker. Clouser raced 57 yards after cutting up inside on a well-designed handoff from sophomore quarterback Mike Pascoe. Though the PAT failed, but it seemed to be just what the Panthers needed - a good start second half and a TD that cut the deficit to 28-6.
Unfortunately the door was about to be slammed shut. Pine Grove had a quick answer on its ensuing series. A kick return to near midfield was not what PV wanted. Robinson broke free on a 49-yard scoot, before Morgan caught another TD pass - this one again from 8 yards out.
Pine Grove made it 42-6 on its next series, needing all of three plays to cash in for the score. First Morgan was fed a shovel-pass for a 48-yard gain, before Robinson hit the deck for another touchdown.
Austen Ney then ended the Pine Grove scoring on a 6-yard run.
GETTING THERE… PV is just missing on both sides of the ball. There were times last evening when it ran itself out of possession by being overly aggressive and allowing the Cardinals to get big chunks of yardage.
NIGHTMARES … Without a doubt, Morgan gave Panther Valley all kinds of headaches. He not only was perfect on his extra points, but he used his big leg to pin PV deep in the hole several times on kickoffs, With the ball in his hands, his acceleration was tremendous once he got into the open field.
GREAT SIGN … Panther Valley could have called it a night when Pine Grove had a first-and-goal from the 4-yard line in second half. But all four times the Panthers kept staving off the attempted touchdown try. That says a lot about the team’s character.
CATCH OF THE NIGHT …With a Pine Grove defender draped all over him, PV’s Jonathan Byers made a sensational over the shoulder catch for a 40-yard gain. it was also a great pass from Pascoe.
MISSING … Pine Grove’s usual starting QB Josh Leininger wasn’t available to play.