The headline act at Morse this season is its offensive backfield. Tommy Bennett, a Morse wide receiver and defensive back, admits that.
But it sure looked as if he was trying to steal the show, as No. 1 Morse dismantled Lincoln, 44-6, in front of a crowd estimated at 3,700 at Mesa College Saturday.
Quarterback Teddy Lawrence, who leads the county in rushing average (18.7), gave Morse (5-0) a 7-0 lead on a flashy 78-yard scoring run in the first quarter. Sophomore Conan Smith had three rushing touchdowns. And Gary Taylor, who leads the county in rushing yardage, gained 159 yards and went over 1,000 for the season.
But Bennett may have made the three biggest plays to spark Morse and wreck Lincoln's afternoon. With Lincoln driving at the Morse 22-yard line early in the first quarter, Bennett made a one-handed interception of Randy Walker's pass and returned it to the 22, where Lawrence broke loose for his long touchdown on the next play.
Then late in the third quarter, Bennett thwarted the only other legitimate Lincoln threat before the Hornets scored with 1:22 left in the game. Lincoln had second down at the Morse eight when Walker made a bad pitchout and Bennett recovered it.
The third big play by Bennett came 48 seconds before halftime and put the nail in Lincoln's coffin. He took Lawrence's only pass of the first half 52 yards for a touchdown that made it 30-0.
"Tommy's one of the best athletes in the county," Morse coach John Shacklett said.
Taylor, who sprained his right ankle in practice Tuesday, gained 125 of his yards in the second half while Morse protected its lead. He scored on a six-yard run to make it 37-0 two seconds into the fourth quarter. His next carry, a nine-yarder up the middle, put him over 1,000. Unofficially, Taylor has 1,046 yards after five games.