1988: Showdown for Morse and Orange Glen

Morse’s 31-28 victory over Orange Glen in the AAA finals ranks among the most exciting of all San Diego Section championship games.

And that game followed Rancho Buena Vista’s 21-10 AA victory over San Pasqual, climaxing Rancho’s meteoric rise in the school’s second season.

Long runs, NFL-style passing and  two of the County’s all-time coaches, David Lay of Orange Glen (12-0) and John Shacklett of Morse (10-2) competing against each other, made this a game to remember for the crowd of 12,611.

A quick bow to “Cowboy” Ken  Maynard.

Not to the 1930’s Western movie shoot-’em-up hero but to  the coach with the same name and who was Lay’s and Shacklett’s  mentor when the two offensive linemen starred at Grossmont  in 1956.

In 13 seasons at Sweetwater and Orange Glen, Lay posted a record of 102-34-5. Shacklett was 229-118-9 in 31 seasons at Morse and was in the middle of a three-year,  36-5 run centered around sophomore Teddy Lawrence, who burst on the scene in this game.

Lawrence knew no fear.

Teddy's dashes turned game for Morse.

Teddy’s dashes turned game for Morse.

He intercepted Cree Morris’ pass deep in the Morse end zone, hesitated a moment, then took off on a record 106-yard return with 2:30 remaining in the first half.

Awhile later, with halftime nearing, Lawrence stood in punt formation, saw something he liked on the right side of the defense and took off on a 54-yard touchdown run, the first half having ended as he sped to the end zone.


Shacklett:  “They threw the ball so well with (Cree) Morris and that receiver (Jake) Nyberg.  We played zone, not wanting to get beat, but down around the twenty we’d go man-to-man.

“The thing I remember most about Teddy’ interception is that all of the best players on the field were in about a 10-yard circle on that play. Ty Morrison pressured Morris and Darrell Lewis hit Nyberg as Nyberg was coming across.  Teddy had an open field.”

Shacklett quizzed Lawrence as he set up to punt as the half was ending.  “I said, ‘What are you looking at if the defensive end comes in to block the kick?'”

“It was a high snap,” Lawrence explained to Steve Brand of The San Diego Union.  “I saw number 2 (Lenny McGill) coming in at me and I faked outside.  I got a great block from Jimmie Rose and was gone.”

Brand’s game account noted that Jessie Campbell’s 54-yard touchdown run and German Puentes’ 38-yard field goal for a 31-13 fourth-quarter lead “all but broke Orange Glen’s back.”

But Morris, who completed 17 of 31 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns, and Nyberg, who caught 12 for 207 and two TD’s, kept the Patriots coming.

Two touchdown passes by Morris and a late drive positioned Orange Glen at Morse’s 20. Three incomplete passes  left the North County squad still 20 yards away. Lay called for a game-tying field goal but Shannon Vinje’s 37-yard attempt was wide left.

“I just felt at fourth-and-10, you haven’t made it in three plays, you might as well get part of the championship,” Lay told Brand.

“We could have put twenty guys on Nyberg and he still would have caught all those passes,” said Shacklett. “The guy is amazing.”

So was Lawrence. “Teddy was a great player and great athlete, certainly our best quarterback,” said Shacklett, when asked to compare  Lawrence to the dozens of outstanding players he coached through the years.

Lawrence did not want to be a quarterback when he turned out for spring practice after his sophomore season, Shacklett remembered. “Teddy said he wanted to be a wide receiver;  I told him we didn’t have anyone who could throw the ball.”

The coach knew he wanted this 160-pound bundle of energy handling the ball on every play.

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6 Responses to 1988: Showdown for Morse and Orange Glen

  1. jimmie rose says:

    MUCH LOVE. You know I must say (to this day) I have not heard or seen anything as Spectacular as the Morse Tigers Jumping Jacks warm up and Hype song – nothing like it. “T louder IIIIIII G what you say” do you know the rest?

  2. jimmie says:

    Great Article but no mention of the Morse C.I.F run 1988 vs Point Loma. QB Jimmie Rose (now College Hall of Famer). NFL Lincoln Kennedy or Darrel Lewis and Tyrone Morrison Ohio State and San Diego State!! Also with Teddy Lawrence was NFL David Dunn.

    • Rick says:

      Props to all of those mentioned, with Jimmie now correctly identified. After the 35-27 Morse win over Point Loma in the ’88 regular season, writer Nick Canepa singled out Tyrone Morrison, “a linebacker built like a condominium, who stands 6-5 and weighs 228 and runs like a tailback.” David Dunn, of course, played several years in the NFL and is winning games as coach at Lincoln. Not to mention NFL No. 1 draft choice Lincoln Kennedy out of Washington and Darrell Lewis, who made second team all-state for Morse. There were so many good players throughout the San Diego Section that year, not just at Morse.

  3. jimmie says:

    “I got a great block from Johnny Rose and was gone.”

    That should say “Jimmie Rose” Morse starting Quarterback class of 89 also starting long snapper on punts and extrapoints

    • Rick says:

      Sorry, Jimmie. Correction made. And congratulations on being selected to the Baker University Hall of Fame. The Kansas school has had a strong program and thrived with several San Diego players over the years.

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