By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
STARKVILLE – Defense gave Aberdeen a turnover in Morton territory and two points on a safety as the Bulldogs saw what they expected Saturday at the New Hope Fall Jamboree at Mississippi State.
Aberdeen defeated Morton 10-0 six days away from the two-time Class 3A North champions’ opener against Columbus.
“We’re just a little sloppy,” said Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan. “When you play as bad as we did and win, I guess that’s alright.”
Without Zavia Forshee up front for the Bulldogs – he sat out with high blood pressure – Morton managed to break into the secondary but never found the end zone, partly because of Sammie Burroughs’ two interceptions.
The sophomore intercepted one on a leaping grab at the Aberdeen 25, then grabbed another off a deflection from teammate Jeffery Riddle..
The defense set up the game’s only touchdown. Braxton Anderson recovered a fumble at the Morton 24 and Damian Walker finished the drive with a one-yard run. Fullback Justin Lucas caught the two-point pass.
“We looked good. It’s kind of odd to prepare for a jamboree when you don’t have any film. We’ve got a few kinks but I think we’ll be okay,” defensive ccordinator Patrick Schoolar said.
Schoolar liked what he saw with new linebacker Brandon Walker and said pass coverage will be a focus preparing for Columbus this week.”
The Bulldogs had three sacks, from Channing Ward, Ricky McAllister and Jordan Gathings.
Aberdeen missed out on two chances to score in the first 10-minute quarter, once getting to the Morton 9 before two sacks, one by highly recruited tackle Quay Evans, stymied the drive.
Burroughs had just missed catching a long touchdown pass from freshman Josh Williams.
Williams left the game in the final seconds after the 318-pound Evans fell on his leg.
Aberdeen’s other two came in the second half when highly-touted tackle Ward sacked Tyree McAroy on a pass play in the end zone for a safety with 9:02 to play.
Williams completed 4 of 9 passes for 71 yards.