BERWYN – The conference opener is a good time to play the best game of the season to date.
Morton’s football team picked up its first win of the season in the West Suburban Gold opener against Proviso East on Friday night. The Mustangs won, 27-20, to win their Gold opener for the first time since 2010.
Big plays from quarterback Emilio Engle and wide receiver Anthony Stanciu propelled Morton to the win. Engle hit Stanciu for two touchdowns, including the first of the game.
Engle’s third touchdown and Stanciu’s second came on a 31-yard gain and opened up a 21-0 lead before halftime.
Stanciu starts both ways and is developing in his second year on varsity as a junior.
“We saw potential in him and he’s really coming together this year,” Morton coach Bob Organ said. “He’s learning to be a little bit more of a leader and he’s working hard. He’s a kid that never wants to come off the field. You almost have to drag him off.”
Running back Marlon Hester had another big day with 114 rushing yards and plunged in from a yard out to make it 27-7 in the fourth quarter. The Pirates scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but their comeback simply ran out of time.
“Our defense was awesome,” Organ said. “We gave up a couple big plays late, but the kids in general played hard.”
Next up for Morton is another group of Mustangs, Downers Grove South. DGS has owned this matchup in recent years and will be favored to win again. However, both teams are 1-2 and 1-0 in the Gold. South’s strong running attack, led by Alec Arvanitakis and Le’Devin Smith, will provide a tough assignment for the Morton defense.
“They’re good,” Organ said. “They’ve got some good players. They’re Downers South. They’re what we want to be eventually.”
Proviso East 20
Emilio Engle: 12-for-19, 135 yards, 3 TDs
Anthony Stanciu: 9 rec., 97 yards, 2 TDs
Marlon Hester: 22 car., 114 yards, TD
Keandre Townes: 2 rec., 35 yards, TD
Week 4: Morton at Downers Grove South
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: 1436 Norfolk St., Downers Grove
Records: Morton 1-2 (1-0 WSG), Downers Grove South 1-2 (1-0 WSG)
Outlook: Fresh off the first win of the season, Morton now faces a tougher West Suburban Gold opponent. Downers Grove South also picked up its first win of the season 40-21 at Addison Trail last week. The battle of two Mustangs has gone Downers Grove South's way for more than a decade.