One of Zach Morris's teammates shared a story recently that the Harlem quarterback might not have wanted leaked.
Morris, during the Bulldogs' 50-12 win over Butler on Oct. 24, hurt his elbow and the pain brought him to the brink of tears in the huddle, Harlem lineman Barry Davis said.
Davis wasn't trying to embarrass his teammate. He was illustrating a point about his toughness.
"Team leader," Davis said. "For a junior, he's very impressive."
Morris and running back Seth Hill have helped turn around the Bulldogs' season after a slow start. Harlem has won three of its past four games heading into Friday's season finale at Westside.
Morris took control of the starting job after fellow quarterback Tyler James suffered a concussion against Lakeside. James and Morris had shared snaps until that point.
James was later moved to defense, where he has thrived.
The shuffle proved a good decision when the Bulldogs won their first game of the season, overcoming a two-touchdown deficit at halftime to beat Cross Creek.
Hill ran for three touchdowns in the second half and Morris scrambled 42 yards for another score.
After losing a close one to Hephzibah the following week -- James' breakout game on defense -- Hill and Morris led Harlem to more than 500 yards total offense in the rout of Butler.
Hill scored four times Friday during the Bulldogs 41-20 win against Josey and Morris added another rushing touchdown.
Hill said he had not run for four touchdowns in a game since recreation league.
"He's juking a lot of people out," Morris said. "Trucked some people, juked some people -- he's done a little bit of everything."
Morris and Hill have grasped coach Jimmie Lewis's Wishbone-style offense. With James in the quarterback rotation early in the season, the Bulldogs risked more pass attempts. But with Morris at the helm, Harlem has another hard-nosed runner.
Cue Davis's story on the Butler game.
"He thought he dislocated his elbow," Davis said. "And he kept on playing. He was crying in the huddle, and he kept on playing. He shows me heart."
Morris is a runner first but has been efficient with his few pass attempts, like his 22-yard touchdown pass to Hill Friday.
"We're playing as a team," Morris said. "Offensive line has been blocking great for me and Seth, and all the running backs."
Hill said before the season the Bulldogs had an eye on a playoff spot their first year in Region 3-AAAA.
The Bulldogs won't be playing in the postseason this year. But there is no doubt their regular season turned a corner.
"We didn't want to go out on a bad note," Hill said. "Our ultimate goal is to go out on a three-game winning streak."
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