BERWYN – Since he joined Morton’s varsity team last season, Anthony Stanciu has gone back and forth between quarterback and wide receiver, but those days are over.
Senior starting quarterback Emilio Engle had surgery on his injured left hand and will miss the rest of the season, which means the position is all Stanciu’s for the rest of this season and next fall. For most players the extra control of the offense would be something they hope for, but Stanciu was growing to like wide receiver.
“I prefer playing receiver now, but I’ll play anything,” Stanciu said. “When Emilio was here he got me the ball so it was fun playing.”
Despite his new found fondness of catching passes, Stanciu is more familiar with quarterback. The junior has been playing the position since fifth grade.
“Quarterback you know the pressure,” he said. “You’ve got to get your guys the ball and they want the ball so it’s a little tougher. Receiver you’ve just got to run your route for your quarterback.”
Last year Stanciu also filled in for Engle when he was hurt.
However, This summer Stanciu worked almost exclusively at wide receiver and became a top target in the offense along with Keandre Townes.
Then, Engle went down in Week 1 and Stanciu replaced him to finish the game. Engle returned the next game, but injured his left hand on the first series of the homecoming game against Willowbrook Week 5.
Going back and forth didn’t help continuity in the Morton offense, and it took away a top receiver in Stanciu when he moved to passer. Since the Mustangs are 1-5 and can’t make the playoffs, the silver lining is that Stanciu can get more time at quarterback to build for next year.
“He’s turned into a good leader,” said Morton coach Bob Organ. “It’s a good prep for him, no question, and it’s good for the guys, too, to get used to him.”
Organ described Stanciu as a ‘football kid’ that the program needs more of. Stanciu grew up with football because his dad played at Lane Tech and the family watches football all the time. He developed in Morton’s youth program.
He is playing both ways for Morton this year, doubling as a defensive back. Stanciu is hoping to play in college and at 5-foot-10 realizes quarterback may not be in his future, but said his ideal position at the next level would be slot receiver.
Addison Trail 14, Morton 7
Marlon Hester kickoff return TD
Week 7: Morton vs. Leyden
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: 2400 Home Ave., Berwyn
Records: Morton 1-5 (1-3 WSG), Leyden (1-5, 1-2 WSG)
Outlook: Coming off the frustrating loss to Addison Trail, the Mustangs will be playing for pride after being eliminated from playoff contention. The Eagles also have five losses and are a shell of the team that won the West Suburban Gold last season.