SCRANTON – Ricky Morgan travels from Shavertown to Scranton each weekday to attend high school and play football at Scranton Prep.
In recent weeks, however, Morgan has been surrounded by familiar Back Mountain faces on the football field.
Morgan gained momentum in what is turning into a highly productive senior year with consecutive big games against Lake-Lehman and Dallas.
“This was a very meaningful game for me,” Morgan said Sept. 17 at Scranton Memorial Stadium after carrying 19 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cavaliers to a 48-0 rout of Dallas.
It was not the first time Morgan took the field against former teammates from his days with the Kingston Township Junior Raiders and the Dallas junior high program.
Morgan went over the 1,000-yard mark in an injury-interrupted junior season when he carried 24 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns in last season’s District 2 Class 3A semifinal to lead a 28-2 victory over Dallas.
Realignment locally and statewide in the offseason altered many schedules. When Morgan finally got a look at the Scranton Prep schedule, it included four consecutive games with Wyoming Valley Conference opponents, including Dallas and two neighboring school districts.
“As soon as the schedule was released, I circled this game,” Morgan said of the Dallas matchup. “I basically have been working all year for this.”
And, working throughout the offseason on rehabbing a shoulder injury that took Morgan out of the lineup early in the 2015 season, then again in the playoffs.
Morgan showed he was ready for a heavy workload. He carried more than 50 times in the first two weeks and the only thing that kept him to 34 carries the past two weeks was the efficiency with which Scranton Prep overwhelmed the Black Knights and Mountaineers.
After going 71 yards for a touchdown on the first play of a 44-8 romp over Lake-Lehman, Morgan finished with a season-high 209 yards on 15 carries, including another one for a touchdown.
Morgan broke a 45-yard touchdown run in the second quarter against Dallas. He then carried the first seven plays of the second half to cover 43 yards and score again, making it 34-0 and allowing the Cavaliers to pull their starters.
Scranton Prep first-year head coach and former assistant Terry Gallagher said Morgan is the type of player who normally “lets his play do the talking.”
Before the Dallas game, however, Morgan let his teammates and coaches know that the game was special to him.
“He’s a quiet kid,” Gallagher said. “He goes to work.
“He’s gotten better every year that he’s been in our program.”
Morgan helped the team share a Lackawanna Football Conference Division 1 title last year on the way to the district championship and first state playoff appearance in program history. He has a prominent role in making Scranton Prep a threat to produce similar results this season.
Editor’s note: Because of a filing error, the incorrect high school football story was published in the Sept. 25, 2016 edition of the Dallas Post. A previously published story was inadvertently repeated. The following story was intended to be used. The Dallas Post apologizes for the error.