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Carson Defense Too Late in 30-18 Loss to Morse

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Gary Taylor rushed for two touchdowns and returned a punt for another in leading Morse High of San Diego to a 30-18 victory over Carson, The Times’ top-ranked City team, Friday night at Mesa College.

Morse led, 22-12, after the first quarter and extended it to 30-12 by the half, but the Colts shut down Morse’s offense in the second half, in which the Tigers were limited to eight yards.

“I’m disappointed,” said Taylor, who rushed 14 times for 147 yards. “We just collapsed in the second half. We should have done better. We just got satisfied, we got overconfident. Practice is definitely going to be rough next week.”

Morse Coach John Shacklett wasn’t so quick to condemn his troops.

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“This is a great, great win for us, but you have to give them credit,” Shacklett said. “They’re a very physical team, and they have a great tradition and they just got physical on us.”

And both got clumsy on each other. Special teams didn’t exactly have a banner night, with punt returns and kickoff returns included in the scoring summary.

Morse (3-0) opened scoring on Conan Smith’s four-yard run and went ahead, 8-0, on the conversion run. Carson pulled to 8-6 on Theron Hill’s kickoff return of 90 yards. The extra-point kick failed.

That is when the Colts stepped up the effort to take their only lead of the night. Defensive back Dion Brumfield intercepted a pass by Morse quarterback Cary Taylor, Gary’s twin brother, and returned it 12 yards for the touchdown. A pass failed on the conversion attempt.

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Morse regrouped quickly and went up 22-8 on touchdown runs by Gary Taylor. The first was a 69-yard sprint less than a minute after Carson scored. The second was an 11-yard romp on a pitch from his brother.

Gary Taylor opened the second quarter with a 67-yard punt return. Smith ran in on the conversion attempt and the Tigers led, 30-12.

The Colts drew to 30-18 with 6:42 left in the third quarter when Carson quarterback Jamie Sander found Tony Knox for a 39-yard pass play.

Carson came within a couple of dropped passes of closing to within a touchdown in the second half, but Morse eventually closed the passing lanes and the Colts (1-1) ran out of time.

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Sander was 16 for 29 for 181 yards passing and was intercepted three times. Carson had 77 rushing yards to Morse’s 103. In total offense, Morse had 137 yards in the first half. Carson turned the ball over four times to Morse’s three.

Said Gary Taylor: “There was definitely some hype about this game all day. Every time a San Diego team plays an L.A. team, we’re trying to prove we can play with the big boys.”


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