Clint Morgan could finally smile.
After his Tattnall Square Trojans dismantled his alma mater, Southland, on Friday, Morgan, surrounded by his players and the Tattnall fans, had one important thing to say, “I am a Trojan, and I couldn’t be happier to be a Trojan.”
Tattnall Square jumped out to a 14-point halftime lead and never looked back as it defeated Southland 21-2 in a game that started more than two hours late due to lightning in the area.
“I knew that we were going to do everything we could to try and play this game because the kids wanted to get on the field so bad,” said Morgan, who took over at Tattnall after leading Frederica to a GISA Class A championship last year. "It was nerve-racking at times waiting and wondering if this game would happen, but once we took the field, we showed that we were ready to play. I could not be happier with the effort we showed on both sides of the football.
"Southland has 15 seniors, and we knew it would be a very physical game, but we were just ready to play football."
Tattnall Square's defense set the tone early. After taking the opening kickoff, Southland got consecutive first downs to move into Tattnall territory. But the Raiders didn't get past the Trojans' 35 before the defense, led by linebackers Dakota Long and Jonathan Ward, stiffened and stopped the Raiders' drive.
Meanwhile the Trojans' offense struggled a bit in the first quarter but began to click early in the second. After a short Raiders punt, Tattnall needed only four plays to go 58 yards, with the touchdown going to quarterback Lane Watson, who scampered 30 yards for the score.
Tattnall struck again minutes later. After the Trojans' defense gave the offense great field position yet again, Ward took an inside handoff from Watson and scored from 35 yards out.
Tattnall came out in the second half and immediately got going, scoring once again ... this time on Watson’s perfect pass over the middle to Ahmad Barron, who ran untouched into the end zone from 22 yards out.
Southland threatened several times behind quarterback John Adkins, who passed for 102 yards and ran for another 68, but the Trojans' defense remained strong, with defensive back Jake Allen ending any chance of a comeback with an interception at the goal line late in the game.
Tattnall’s offense was led by Watson, who ran for 91 yards, and Ward, who added 70 yards on just five carries.
“The offense didn’t have a great game, but we will get better every game," Watson said. “I love everything about what we are running with Coach Morgan here, and there are just a few timing issues that we have to straighten out. But Southland is a very good team, and they came in here and played us hard. It was just a great way to start the season.”