DURHAM >> It’s still early in the season and potential Games of the Century are looming against Valley Regional/Old Lyme and North Branford, but for now, the biggest smile in the Pequot Conference belongs to Morgan coach Mike Eagle.
And it’s easy to see why.
Huskies junior running back Jake Ward continued his assault on the school record book by rushing for 319 yards with five touchdowns, and senior quarterback Alex Lipka threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more as Morgan rolled past Coginchaug, 62-35, Saturday afternoon at the Wally Camp Athletic Complex.
Morgan (4-0), which outgained the Blue Devils, 528-324, has scored 40 or more points in all four of their wins this season.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Ward. “It hasn’t been like this here in awhile.”
Running behind Jake Teuner, Eric Peterson, Greg Lee, Chris Seales and Jace Garcia – the Huskies all-junior offensive line – Ward exploded for four touchdowns, including scoring runs of 57, 60 and 65 yards, while amassing 245 yards in the first half as Morgan built a 42-14 halftime advantage.
“They’ve got a terrific running back and a solid offensive line and that’s the core to any very good football team,” said Coginchaug coach John Bozzi.
Ward’s fifth touchdown was a 39-yard scamper that gave the Huskies a 48-14 cushion with 10:22 left in the third quarter.
“(Ward’s) done that for four games now,” said Eagle. “He’s definitely one of the tops in the state and he’s up there for a reason. He’s our workhorse and our go-to-guy when we need those tough yards. Other teams know No. 5 is coming and he still does it and that’s a tribute to the offensive line too. Our offensive line coach Tommy Drew has done a remarkable job with those kids.”
Lipka’s improvement at quarterback has also been an eye-opener. The senior completed 7 of 12 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, a fourth down 17-yard strike to a leaping Gary Forbes for the Huskies first score and a 28-yarder to Thomas White.
Lipka also rushed for 56 yards, including a 26 yard scoring dash that extended Morgan’s lead to 56-14 midway through the third.
“Alex was great today,” said Eagle. “That was a big throw to Forbes in the end zone. When he just slows it down and works his feet and keeps his eyes downfield he’s a very good quarterback.”
Coginchaug quarterback Tyler Meeker left the game with a hand injury late in the first half and his replacement, junior Jake Ober, did a terrific job directing the Blue Devils attack.
Ober scored three rushing touchdowns while gaining 112 yards on 18 carries. He also completed 9 of 15 passes for 133 yards with one touchdown.
“Jake’s come a long way,” said Bozzi.
Jack Granger had a 77-yard kickoff return, John Mormile rushed for 50 yards on seven attempts, and Devin Rodrigue had a touchdown catch for the Blue Devils.
“You have to give those guys credit,” said Eagle. “They just kept coming back and pressing. They’re a well-coached team.”
The Blue Devils, who also gave up 60 points in a loss at Valley Regional, fell to 1-2.
“I’m disappointed in our inability to tackle,” said Bozzi. “That plagued us against Valley and was more apparent here. That’s something we keep working on and keep looking for people to do.”
After a bye week, the Huskies will travel to Haddam-Killingworth on Friday, Oct. 18 (6:30 p.m.).
“We’re a very good team, I believe, and we’re only getting better,” said Eagle, now in his fourth season. “We feel good where we are but we still have a lot to prove. We haven’t proven anything yet.”