Morgan High football clamps down on Ogden in lightning-shortened win
OGDEN — On Thursday night at Ogden High, Morgan’s football team was looking for something better than its 21-7 loss at Grantsville last week that may eventually cost the Trojans a shot at the 3A North region title.
For now, they still have a mathematical shot at the region title after a 33-7 win against the Tigers (2-7, 0-4 3A North) in a game that was ended late in the third quarter by a lightning and rain storm that dumped water all over Ogden and flooded some downtown intersections.
The Trojans (6-3, 3-1) built their big lead Thursday before that aforementioned thunderstorm swept through the area, but next week they may have to actually deal with the weather instead of getting things done before it comes.
The National Weather Service forecast for next Tuesday calls for snow levels all the way down to the Wasatch Front benches.
That could mean Morgan, with its 5,000-feet-plus elevation, might get snow Tuesday if not heavy, soaking rain that will bog down the Trojans’ grass field in advance of a consequential game against Union.
Until then, Morgan can be happy with Thursday’s result.
“One of the biggest things is cleaning up penalties because that’s what really hurt us last week was just too many penalties,” Morgan coach Jared Barlow said. “We put ourselves in bad situations and so we just knew we needed to clean that stuff up. I wanted to see that, I wanted to see, defensively, doing a better job of tackling … I thought they came in and did a much better job of that.”
Morgan’s defense got several stops, punts and turnovers, and a handful turned into short fields where the offense took advantage.
An Everett Gilson interception gave Morgan the ball at the Ogden 33-yard line. Beau Johnson made a 43-yard field goal for an early lead.
Backup quarterback Tate Nelson ran for a 31-yard score and then, on another drive that started in Ogden territory, threw to a wide-open Jaxon Whiting for a 25-yard TD.
Both teams traded interceptions, with Ogden’s Jaden Gallegos snagging a deep pass before Morgan’s Zach Nelson returned a pick to the Ogden 7.
Will Korth scored on the next play to make it 24-0 and Morgan made it 26-0 at halftime after a bad snap forced Ogden quarterback Kale Adams to dive on the ball in the end zone.
Tigers running back Chet Colvin found the end zone in the third quarter to complete a 12-play drive during which Gallegos caught a long pass to convert a third down and Ozzy Norton caught a short pass to convert a fourth down.
Morgan’s first drive of the second half started at the Ogden 43-yard line and ended like the other three drives that started in Ogden’s half.
Nelson got his second TD run of the night for a 33-7 lead and Morgan recovered a fumble on the next drive after another bad Ogden snap. Nelson, a sophomore, was playing in place of the injured starter Nic Despain.
“Tate played really well today. I was impressed with his composure and how well he ran the offense,” Barlow said.
Meanwhile, the rain had been steadily picking up and Ogden administrators had been nervously checking weather apps on their phones while also seeing flashing lightning slowly approach.
The game was called off a little before 9:30 p.m. since the lightning delay had already surpassed the 1-hour mark, the game’s resumption was looking unlikely before 9:45 p.m. and the game’s result wasn’t in doubt.
Both teams play Wednesday after short turnarounds. Morgan has the previously-mentioned consequential game in expected muddy conditions against Union where, if the Trojans win and Grantsville loses to Juan Diego, then MHS wins a share of the 3A North title.
“It’s always hard to prepare for what you’re going to see, but the good thing is our practice field isn’t very good so we’ll get plenty of practice (with the conditions). The biggest thing for me is gonna be ball security and footing,” Barlow said.
Although the Tigers are 0-4 in the region and staring at a first-round road playoff game, Ogden has possibly a more consequential game: the Iron Horse rivalry game, which will be played at Ben Lomond High School for the first time since 2013.