Eagles see promising 2022 season falter with 3-7 finish
The Morris Eagle varsity football team saw their dreams of a winning season fall by the wayside in 2022.
The Eagles, seeking their first winning season since 2011 when they finished 6-6 and reached the second round of the playoffs, earned an early 2-game winning streak and appeared to be on their way to earning their first sub-.500 season in 10 years.
The Morris squad saw their promising season falter once district play began on September 23 in Kiefer. The Eagles dropped their first six district games to sit at 2-7 with one game remaining for their 11th-straight sub.500 season and missing the playoffs for the second-straight year. The Morris squad won its final regular-season contest to finish the 2022 campaign with a 3-7 record – its most wins since a 4-win season in 2020 aka the COVID-19 season.
The 2022 season began with a special ceremony. On September 2 before their season opener at home against the Kellyville Ponies, the Eagles held a special field-naming ceremony prior to the season opener, naming the high school football field Larry Bookout Field after former longtime Morris coach Larry Bookout.
The special night was spoiled for the Morris football team, as the visiting Ponies walked off the field with a 2212 decision.
After the season-opening loss to Kellyville, the Eagles earned their first win of 2022 the following Friday (September 9) with a thrilling 3-point (18-15) win over their arch rivals, the Henryetta Golden Knights, in the inaugural Walker Cup battle between the county foes.
The win over the Knights sparked a 2-game win streak for Morris.
The Eagles concluded their non-district contest last season with a shutout (30-0) win over the Haskell Haymakers and entered district play with a huge momentum burst.
The win over Haskell was the final victory for the Morris squad until Week 10, as the Morris squad found themselves on the losing end of sixstraight decisions for a 2-7 record.
The Eagles began district play September 23 in Kiefer and battled a very tough Kiefer Trojan squad. The Morris squad gave it its all in the 2A-7 opener, but found themselves on the losing end of a 22-12 outcome.
The following week (September 30), the Eagles met a new foe – the Kansas Comets – in their second district game of 2022. The Morris squad once again battled for four quarters, but were unable to record its first district win of the season, falling by a 21-14 margin to the Comets.
The next two district contests saw the Eagles on the short end of double-digit losses to Victory Christian (35-6) and Sperry (33-14) to sit at 2-5 on the year and 0-4 in district play.
In order for the Eagles to earn a postseason berth in 2022, they needed to come away victorious in their final three district games – October 21 at Westville, October 28 at home against Beggs, and November 3 at Okmulgee.
The Morris squad was unable to get its offense going at Westville, being held to one third-quarter score, in a 12-6 loss to the host Yellowjackets, who were another new foe for the Eagles in 2022.
The Eagles’ bid for a postseason berth in 2022 came to an end in their final home game of the regular season on October 28.
The Morris squad watched the visiting Beggs Golden Demons tally the lone score in the second half – a 36-yard pass from Knox Dyson to Ryan Grayson at the 10:32 mark of the third quarter – to break a 20-20 halftime score and hand the Eagles the 28-20 setback. The loss to Beggs put the Morris squad at 0-6 in district play and 2-7 on the season.
The Eagles concluded their 2022 season on a winning note, defeating another Okmulgee County foe, the Okmulgee Bulldogs, by a 25-20 decision in the regular-season finale for both teams on November 3 at historic Harmon Field in Okmulgee. The narrow win over the host Bulldogs ended the Eagles’ somewhat disappointing 2022 campaign and 6-game losing streak, giving the Morris squad a 3-7 record.
In 10 games in 2022, the Eagles totaled 157 points – an average of 15.7 ppg, while giving up a total of 208 points – an average of 20.8 ppg – to opponents.
In its non-district schedule, the Morris squad outscored its three foes 60-35 – an average of 20.011.7 ppg and scored its highest point total (30) in its shutout win over Haskell in Week 3.
In district play, the Eagles were outscored 173-97 an average of 24.7-13.9 ppg – with the highest point total being the 25 points scored in their regular-season finale win over Okmulgee.
The Morris varsity football team will enter the 2023 season looking for its first winning season since 2011 and its first (non-COVID) playoff berth since 2018.
The 2023 Morris football schedule was not known at presstime.
If the Eagles stay with the same scheduling as 2022, they should begin the 2023 campaign September 1 at Kellyville.
— Morris Eagles 2022 Record: 3-7 Game Results Regular Season
Sept. 2 – Kellyville 22, Morris 12 Sept. 9 – Morris 18, Henryetta 15 Sept. 16 – Morris 30, Haskell 0 Sept. 23 – Kiefer 22, Morris 12 Sept. 30 – Kansas 21, Morris 14 Oct. 7 – Victory Christian 35, Morris 6 Oct. 13 – Sperry 33, Morris 14 Oct. 21 – Westville 12, Morris 6 Oct. 28 – Beggs 28, Morris 20 Nov. 3 – Morris 25, Okmulgee 20