BERWYN – Morton football will go down with an 1-8 season that will join other disappointing falls for the program, but it’s a season that began with much more optimism, and for good reason.
The problem was, as coach Bob Organ put it, Murphy’s Law applied to the team this season, but he didn’t want to make excuses.
“In the end, the object is to get to the playoffs and compete for conference and we’re not there yet,” Organ said. “When the competitive side takes over, you want to see it right now and see that instant result, but when you step back and look at the big picture it takes time.”
Returning all-conference quarterback Emilio Engle’s season-ending injury in Week 5 against Willowbrook was the true dagger for a team that had just started to play its best football. In Week 3 Morton beat Proviso East and an oh-so-close defeat to Downers Grove South, which went undefeated in the West Suburban Gold, followed the next week.
Engle’s injury on the first drive against Willowbrook negated any momentum. The Warriors cruised to a 49-19 win and it didn’t get better after that.
Morton combined to score just 20 points in the final four games of the season. Junior Anthony Stanciu took over at quarterback, and the offense couldn’t get going.
Senior running back Marlon Hester, a workhorse the offense relied upon, was a standout among the departing class. The captains among the seniors were all complimented by Organ.
“The leadership from Kevion Anderson, Brandon Colon and Emilio Engle was awesome,” he said. “I appreciate the senior class because they worked hard in the weight room in the offseason and they stuck with it and battled to the end.”
Stanciu is among a group of returners that will be counted on for big things next season. Organ mentioned sophomore linebacker Darin Gipson as one of the hardest working players in the offseason and a talent to watch.
The 1-8 record is the worst in Organ’s four years. Morton had won nine games in Organ’s first three years, compared to the four the program had won the previous seven seasons.
“It’s time to get back to work,” Organ said. “We’ll get our weightlifting going in a little bit and start rolling.”
Week 9 result: OPRF 41, Morton 6