The not-so-secret weapon


The name Beau Morgan conjures up a --ing figure with a flair for excitement.

And that is precisely what Beau Morgan has been this season as quarterback for Air Force, which plays Navy in Annapolis this afternoon.

Last week, the junior from Carrollton, Texas, ran for four touchdowns and passed for another in winning a wild, 56-46 shootout with Texas-El Paso to boost the Falcons' record to 4-2.

"That was probably my best game ever," said Morgan, who split time at quarterback last season with Preston McConnell. "I felt completely in control."

Morgan was lightly recruited coming out of a small private school in Dallas, where he played for his father. He chose Air Force over Baylor and Vanderbilt.

He is now being compared to Dee Dowis, the Falcons' quarterback in the late 1980s who holds most of the school's offensive records. Morgan has a total of 1,050 yards, averaging 175 per game, and has 13 touchdowns.

"A lot of what we're doing is based on Beau's talents," said quarterbacks coach Paul Hamilton. "We just haven't had quarterbacks with his ability to run, sprint out and throw the ball accurately. For us, the passing offense makes us much more dangerous.

"We're recruiting hard to find players like Beau. They're out there. But they're hard to find."

There was some concern by the Falcons' coaching staff that it might have to find a Morgan clone sooner than it planned.

In the season-opening 38-12 victory over Brigham Young, Morgan experienced a bad reaction from a decongestant while playing in extreme heat. He left the field in an ambulance during the second quarter after his heartbeat accelerated and he began to dehydrate. Quick treatment brought the problem under control.

The next week against Wyoming, he got caught on the bottom of a pile in the second quarter and was accidentally kicked in the head. He left the field on rubbery legs and was diagnosed as having suffered a mild concussion.

There has been added pressure placed on Morgan to produce points with the defense yielding just under 25 points a game.

"Our offense believes it can do whatever it takes to win games," he said. "We've added some wrinkles to our wishbone to keep the defense guessing."

Although the Falcons have won 12 of their past 13 games against the Midshipmen, Morgan was impressed watching films of the Navy defense this year.

"They're one of the better defenses I've seen," he said. "They always have several guys around the ball. From what I can see, they have a lot more speed than last year, and their attitude and aggressiveness has really changed playing for their new coach [Charlie Weatherbie]."

Asked about being compared to Dowis, Morgan said, "I don't get caught up in that stuff, but I can point to a dozen things that Dowis could do better."

Morgan has sought the counsel of Dowis, who is coaching the Air Force junior varsity.

"We talk a lot about his approach to the game," said Morgan. "I'm just fortunate that he's around to give advice."

NOTE: State police are advising fans planning to attend today's 1:30 game to allow extra time because of traffic problems on Route 50 created by the annual powerboat show at the Annapolis city dock.

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