Berwick's Mitchell Sanford fights for yardage in the team's victory against White Castle in last week's Taco Bell Jamboree.
—The Daily Review/Mico Aloisio Photos
Morgan City's Deandre Grogan catches a pass during the Tigers' jamboree loss to Patterson.
Berwick, Morgan City to open the season in area matchup
Familiar foes face off when Morgan City takes the short ride to Geisler Stadium to tangle with Berwick in the season opener for both teams on Aug. 31.
Morgan City comes into the game on the strength of a competitive second-half showing in last week’s Taco Bell Jamboree at Tiger Stadium in Morgan City. Despite losing 26-7 to Patterson, Morgan City allowed just one second-half score.
“Offensively, we were able to run the football and move the sticks,” Morgan City Coach Chris Stroud said. “We also made some plays in the passing game so we were able to keep their offense off the field in the second half. But we can’t have the turnovers and missed assignments we had last week. We gave them two easy passing touchdowns and we fumbled two kickoff returns.”
Quarterback Tate Alcina led Morgan City, completing 4-of-7 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown while Deandre Grogan had two catches for 42 yards and Devonta Grogan had two catches for 20 yards and a touchdown. Mitchell Mancuso was the leading rusher with 4 carries for 34 yards.
But it’s the Berwick’s offense that raises concerns for Morgan City coaches.
“We must stop their quarterback Mitchell Sanford and running back Josh Jones,” Stroud said. “They’re both big-play options for their offense. We have to control the clock again with our run game to keep the ball out of their hands, but our biggest key to winning is winning the turnover battle.”
Berwick enters the opener after holding off White Castle 27-24 in the Morgan City Jamboree last week.
“I thought we did a good job in the first half in all three phases,” first-year Berwick Coach Mike Walker said. “White Castle did a good job of making some adjustments in the second half to close the gap. I’m proud of our guys for holding on and winning, but there were a bunch of things to fix.”
Jones led the Panther’s rushing attack with nine carries for 107 yards and a touchdown while Sanford seemed to struggle with his new receivers, completing just 1-of-7 passes for 22 yards and a touchdown.
“Offensively, we have to take care of the football and finish our drives,” Walker said. “There were a lot of teachable moments throughout the entire night last week.
“We had turnovers that could have cost us the game and we worked on that stuff all week. It was good to get the jitters out and I think Friday’s home field game against Morgan City should be electric.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.