Morton, a two-way standout for perennial East Texas Class 4A powerhouse Gilmer High School, was one of the main stars in Gilmer's thrilling 61-55 victory against Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, another frequently talent-laden 4A program in the region. The season-opener was a matchup of teams ranked No. 6 (Gilmer) and No. 9 (Liberty-Eylau) in the Associated Press Texas 4A Preseason Top 10.
Morton caught 10 passes for a jaw-dropping 259 yards and three touchdowns, averaging about 26 yards per reception as he accounted for 45.5 percent of quarterback Aaron "Poppy" Brown's 569 passing yards. Morton's three TD grabs were half of Brown's scoring throws on the night.
Our friend Clint Buckley, managing editor of the East Texas Sports Network (ETSN.fm) and a sports writer who's covered football in East Texas since 2002, caught up with Morton after the game.
"I’m a senior and it’s my last opening game. We wanted to make the game fun for the underclassmen," Morton told ETSN.fm. "At the beginning we were struggling a little bit. When they got ahead it was time to kick in. Whenever we’re down we’re not going to go away."
"I just throw it up and he can go get it," junior QB Brown said of Morton. "Lam just made the plays after that."
-- If you're interested in the game story, check it out here from ETSN.fm: Gilmer Edges Liberty-Eylau in 61-55 Shootout
Buckley said the fireworks Morton provided were a sight to see from the press box.
"Morton was clearly the best athlete on the field Thursday night. He excelled both in the short screen game and deep routes," Buckley noted. "His open-field speed and laser-sharp cuts were something to behold. He also played heavily on defense at free safety, but Liberty-Eylau didn't take to the air that often."
Morton's Gilmer Buckeyes visit Center High School next week. That could provide scenarios of Morton covering 2017 receiver Octavius Evans, who has an Oklahoma State offer.
Below is what Morton has done the past two seasons for Gilmer:
- 2015: As a junior, Morton caught 34 passes for 589 yards and seven touchdowns on 17.3 yards per reception. He also carried the ball twice for 44 yards. On defense, Morton recorded 18 tackles, two interceptions, and six pass breakups.
- 2014: Morton made his varsity debut as a sophomore. He had nine offensive touches for 162 yards and two scores, including eight catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Morton made 22 tackles and broke up one pass.