GLEN ELLYN – Looking to end his high school football career on a high note, Marlon Hester put in a lot of work during the offseason.
And through two games, that extra work has paid off for the Morton senior running back.
One week after rushing for 124 yards against Rich South, Hester averaged more than five yards per carry against a stout Glenbard West defense Saturday.
“Being my senior year, I want to go all out,” Hester said. “I feel like I have to give it all I can. Last year, I didn’t have as much time to perform, but now I’m feeling stronger and healthier. My offseason has paid off.”
His performance thus far certainly has caught the eye of Mustangs head coach Bob Organ.
“Marlon is running hard,” Organ said, “and at times, we should have gotten him the ball more [against Glenbard West]. He’s a gamer and he has really bought into our program. It is great to see. He is a great kid who is doing everything right.”
As for the game itself, Morton faced a tall order with the defending Class 7A state champions on its schedule, one that became even tougher when the Hilltoppers lost in the opening week to Wheaton Warrenville South.
“They are a great football team, just a great program,” Organ said. “They’ve done a heck of a job. [Head coach] Chad [Heltet] and his staff, my hat is off to them. We shot ourselves in the foot, but I’m not sure that would have made a difference in the game. When you play good football teams, you can’t shoot yourself in the foot.
“But we had kids playing hard, which was good to see.”
The Mustangs scored their lone touchdown on a four-yard run by quarterback Emilio Engle early in the fourth quarter.
“He is a tough kid too,” the coach said. “Everything we do goes through him. He just keeps plugging away.”
Next up for Morton is a matchup against Proviso East to open West Suburban Gold conference play.
“It’s a new season,” Organ added. “We have to get this game [Glenbard West] out of our mind and move on. We are excited about starting conference. Proviso East has a new coach and they will do some new things.
“In our conference, whether you are in the Gold or Silver, it’s a game each week and you can’t take anybody lightly. Hopefully we will come out and give them a heck of a game.”
Glenbard West 68, Morton 7
Morton top performers: Marlon Hester: 13 car., 71 yards Emilio Engle: 13 car., 52 yards; 8-for-15, 53 yards Anthony Stanciu: 3 rec., 17 yards Keandre Townes: 2 rec., 17 yards