RIVERSIDE – Morton football coach Bob Organ repeated one thing over and over after the game: “We got to finish.”
The Mustangs’ first drive of the season showed so much promise with the team driving all the way to the Riverside Brookfield 10-yard-line, but a penalty and a fumbled snap were followed by a missed field goal. Morton was unable to finish any drives and lost to the neighboring Bulldogs 22-0 Friday.
“It was missed opportunities and not finishing,” Organ said. “Our first drive of the game was a great drive. We get down there and we jump offsides, fumble a snap and shoot ourselves in the leg. You can’t have that.”
Morton was without starting quarterback Anthony Stanciu. In the senior’s place was sophomore Julio Garcia. Garcia was 2-for-12 for 32 yards through the air and had eight carries for 53 yards. The Mustangs went with a run-heavy offense, which seemed to catch RB off guard on the first drive.
The Mustangs marched for 59 yards on that drive, but the lightning delay hit with four minutes left in the first quarter and Morton wouldn’t have a drive that long the rest of the game.
“The first drive they had some big plays on us and we got to go over our schemes and go over how to stop that,” RB linebacker Jordan Petronella said of the delay. “It benefited us in the long run.”
RB finally broke the scoreless start with a 36-yard field goal from senior Nick Fucinato with 5:29 left in the second quarter. Fucinato added two more field goals before RB scored two fourth quarter touchdowns.
“We’re young up front,” Organ said. “We got some seniors on the skill positions, but I think our youth showed at times tonight. We got a sophomore quarterback starting and he did a great job.”
Morton’s defense showed well for most of the game, holding RB to three points in the first half and keeping them out of the end zone until 7:54 remained in the game. However, with the offense struggling to sustain drives they eventually gave in to RB’s power running game late.
“They ran out of gas,” Organ said. “We left them to hang out there a little bit offensively and you can’t do that.”
Darin Gipson and Aljandros Castille had some big plays for the Morton defense. On offense, Miguel Quinones, Orlando Pacheco and Jose Muratalla shared the carries at running back.
“We did really well driving the ball,” junior receiver Jovan Vazquez said. “We had good blocks on the outside. We just need to learn to finish.”