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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2007
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W. Morgan rides big 2nd half to victory

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

TRINITY — West Morgan High got a good heart-to-heart talk from head coach Pierre Coggins at halftime Friday night.

The Rebels went into the locker room with 93 yards of offense and seven points, and in the words of Coggins, it was the worst half he has seen in his 14 years there.

Coggins' halftime words apparently worked a bit of magic as the Rebels picked up a 35-7 win over Cherokee.

The two teams were deadlocked 7-7 at intermission.

"We weren't ready to play," Coggins said. "We didn't come out with a lot of intensity, and that's my fault. During the second half, our guys didn't quit. They hung in there, and we got the win."

The victory also clinched a spot in the Class 2A playoffs for West Morgan. The Rebels are 5-3 overall and 4-2 in Region 8, which is tied for third place with Tanner. The top four teams in each region advance to the playoffs, and with one region game to go, nobody can catch West Morgan.

In addition, West Morgan has won four straight after a 1-3 start.

"This was a huge win," Coggins said. "As a team, your main goal is to get to the playoffs. It's been a tough road, but we finally got there."

The first score of the game came early in the second quarter on a 4-yard run by the Rebels' Blake Gholston. The extra point by Jared Spooner was good with 7:32 to play.

Cherokee's only score came with 3:58 left in the second quarter on a 30-yard pass from Kevin Martin to Dominique Croom. Shelby Wadell's extra point was good for a 7-7 tie.

Gholston's 15-yard run midway through the third quarter gave the Rebels a 14-7 lead, and they never looked back.

Josh McAbee's three touchdowns in the fourth quarter gave West Morgan a little more breathing room.

West Morgan's Terrence Carter had eight carriers for 110 yards on the night. McAbee finished with 16 carries for 72 yards and three touchdowns.

The Rebels travel to take on Addison next week, and even though they have secured their spot in the playoffs, Coggins said it is still a big game.

"That's a game that can change our playoff seed, so it's another huge game for us," Coggins said. "Hopefully, our kids will be a little more relaxed and play a little less uptight.

"They've been a little uptight this week knowing the possibilty of losing the football game and what happens with the playoffs. Hopefully, next week we will be ready
to go.
"

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