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Football preview: Morton hoping to end playoff drought

Published: Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 3:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 1:13 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Bill Ackerman – backerman@shawmedia.com)
Morton quarterback Emilio Engle looks down field during football practice in Berwyn on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013.

BERWYN – It's opening week for the 2013 football season. Before Morton hits the field for Week 1 against Rich South on Friday, read up on the important names to know for this season and what stands out about the 2013 version of Morton football. The Mustangs are trying to end a lengthy playoff drought.

AT A GLANCE

Class: 8A

Coach: Bob Organ

2012 record: 3-6

Conference: West Suburban Gold, 2-4, 5th

TOP RETURNERS

Kevion Anderson sr. DL

Adrian Cardenas sr. LB

Brandon Colon sr. OL/DL

Emilio Engle sr. QB

Marlon Hester sr. RB/DB

Gabe Pavon sr. TE/DE

Anthony Stanciu jr. CB/QB

KEY NEWCOMERS

John Broderick sr. OL/DL

Alejandro Castillo jr. DE

Darin Gipson so. LB

Keandre Townes jr. WR

Will Urbina sr. DL

WHAT TO WATCH

PLAYOFF PUSH: It's been a long time since Morton made the postseason, and it's something the Mustangs are well aware of. The last time Morton had a winning record was in 1985, when they went 6-3. The Mustangs have shown improvement in the three years under coach Bob Organ, but the next step is to get into the second season. This year is another attempt to end the drought.

“I think we do have a shot, but we just have to put our minds to it and believe in ourselves," said senior quarterback Emilio Engle.

YOUTH ON OFFENSE: Emilio Engle can be a stabilizing force for the offense as a returning all-conference senior quarterback, but he will be surrounded by younger talent. All of the wide receivers are juniors, led by talented Keandre Townes. Running back Marlon Hester is back and Engle led the team in rushing yards last season so the Mustangs have the top two rushers.

VETERAN DEFENSE: The Morton offense may be young, but most of the experience on the team will primarily focus on defense. Senior linemen Kevion Anderson, Brandon Colon and Will Urbina will be key figures for Morton. Senior linebacker Adrian Cardenas led the team in tackles last season. Senior Gabe Pavon could be the team's top pass rusher after totaling three sacks as a junior.

COACH'S QUOTE

"They're hard workers. We're not the deepest team. We're going to have a roster of 52-53 guys, which is a good thing because by the fourth year the guys that are the pretenders don't come out anymore."

Bob Organ

BY THE NUMBERS
1,543:
Total yards of offense for quarterback Emilio Engle last season9: Wins in three years under coach Bob Organ, surpassing the eight Morton won from 1998-20095: Playoff teams from 2012 on Morton's schedule this fall

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