By Doug Gorman
Morrow High School quarterback Charles Gates had one thing in mind when he took the field Saturday night for the Mustangs' game against Region 2-AAAAA opponent Stockbridge at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
The Mustangs' senior wanted to honor the memory of his brother.
A week ago, Devon Gates, a former All-Southern Crescent football player from Forest Park High School, was shot to death while attending a birthday party.
"My brother was a great football player and I just wanted to go out and make him proud," said Charles Gates.
Gates did just, that leading the Mustangs to a convincing 30-0 victory against a Stockbridge squad still searching for its first victory.
At halftime, Charles Gates was crowned Homecoming King.
"That was really special," said Gates. "My teammates and classmates have really supported me."
Morrow built a 23-0 lead at the end of the first half and never looked back against a Stockbridge team which struggled to get its offense on track. Stockbridge managed only 66 total yards while Morrow racked up 292 yards of offense.
Gates was involved in almost every one of Morrow's scoring plays as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third score in the Mustangs' second victory of the season.
Earlier this year, Morrow also beat Henry County.
Gates directed Morrow into the end zone for the first time when he found Greg Braswell on a 3-yard pass.
With 5:29 remaining in the second quarter, Gates found DeJaun Gomillion, who completed the 43-yard play by sprinting down the sidelines.
Less than 20 seconds later, the Morrow defense struck for a score when Stockbridge turned the football back over to the Mustangs on a fumble.
Dennis Jones picked up the ball and returned it 39 yards for a score.
Morrow has also found a field goal kicker in the form of freshman Terez McClerity, who booted a 34-yard kick to give the Mustangs a 23-0 lead.
Late in the fourth quarter, Gates closed out the scoring when he kept the football and ran it to the end zone on a 12-yard sprint.
Morrow closes out the 2003 season Friday against Eagle's Landing at Tara Stadium.