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Jonesboro blanks Mustangs in opener

By Doug Gorman

The story line Friday night at Twelve Oaks Stadium between Jonesboro and Morrow was supposed to center around two men making their head coaching debuts for their respected schools.

It turned out to be more about two teams searching to find their offenses in the season opener for both programs.

In the end, Jonesboro head coach Larry Mortonson's club spoiled the night for head coach Dorwyn Lyles Morrow team with a 16-0 victory.

The Cardinals relied on the foot off field goal kicker Patrick Saxby, who booted field goals of 31 and 27 yards in the first half and a safety caused when Darrell Robertson blocked a Morrow punt attempt out of the end zone to take an 8-0 lead at the end of the first half.

Morrow never did get is offense on track, picking up just four first down and only getting the ball past midfield four times.

"Frankly, we won this football game because of our defense," said Mortonson. "We just couldn't get our offense going."

Jonesboro's only trip to the end zone came when Morrow miss handled a punt return which was recovered by Robertson at the Mustangs' 14.

Jonesboro's Travon Hardy was the go-to-men on the series, capping the Cardinals' only trip to the end zone with a 4-yard run with 5:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Tristan Hammons added the 2-point conversion for the final points.

Morrow's longest offensive play of the night came on the next to last play of the game when Charles Gates completed a 36-yard pass to Benton Smith.

Jonesboro quarterback Garrett Williams was 7-of-19 passing for 79 yards.

Jamal Lewis caught three of Williams' passes for 19 yards.

Williams most proficient drive came right before end of the first half when he connected on four passes and marched Jonesboro down to the Morrow 10 to set up Saxby's second field goal.

Despite the victory, Mortonson admits his offense needs to improve."

"We have to go back to work and do a better job blocking." Mortonson said.