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David Wilson, Morton finding reason for optimism

Versatile Mustangs running back, young ‘D’ sparking turnaround

Morton running back David Wilson is nearing the 500-yard rushing mark for the season.

Even though Morton coach Bob Organ is using Wilson all over the field, Wilson’s primary job is to carry the rushing load for the Mustangs (1-2, 0-1).

Organ said Wilson’s three-game rushing total is hovering around 400 yards.

“David is playing like a senior should and we put a lot on his plate and he’s started to respond,” Organ said. “He’s made plays in the slot, also punts, and he picked up a couple of first downs against Hinsdale South on [Sept. 7] taking off and running on punts. He’s an athlete. There’s more stuff to come for him. He has a heavy workload.”

The Mustangs, Organ said, are experiencing a change in culture. Morton has not won more than three games in a season since Organ’s first year, when the Mustangs finished 4-5 in 2010. In the past three years, Morton has won just one game each season.

Besides the play of Wilson, Organ has noticed other factors that give him optimism. The Mustangs lost 20-14 to Riverside-Brookfield in Week 1, erased a 12-point deficit to defeat Proviso West 48-26 and lost 30-3 to Hinsdale South.

“We had a shot to win in the Riverside-Brookfield game, but lost a fumble,” he said. “We scored 48 points against Proviso West, which I don’t think we’ve scored that much in 20 years. We were only down 14-3 to Hinsdale South at halftime. They are a very good, seasoned playoff team. We moved the ball up and down the field and couldn’t capitalize.

“Our kids are playing hard. We have a different mindset going on. We came back against Proviso West. We have never done that in my tenure. If we go down, it’s usually the kiss of death for us.”

Organ said his defense is sparking a turnaround. Despite a youthful group, the Mustangs have shown signs of positive play. Last season, the Mustangs were shut out in three games and gave up 33 or more points in six of their nine games.

“Defensively, our guys are flying around like we have never before,” Organ said.

Lyons falls to 0-3

Lyons Township football is accustomed to success.

The Lions have qualified for the Class 8A playoffs nine straight seasons, and 15 of the last 16 seasons. The only blip was a 3-6 season in 2008.

But the Lions are in unfamiliar territory without a win in their first three games. Lyons did not record a first down until late in the third quarter in a 28-0 loss to York on Sept. 7. The Lions (0-3, 0-1 in the West Suburban Silver) have been outscored 79-20 this season.

The Lions get a reprieve in their schedule with games against winless Proviso West and Leyden in the next two weeks before finishing the regular season against Glenbard West, Downers Grove North, Hinsdale Central and Oak Park-River Forest.

In the loss to York, the Lions played without quarterback J.J. Dutton, who has a hand injury.

Lyons senior running back Tyrone Smith acknowledged the 0-3 record is odd, but he’s focused on keeping his teammates positive.

“It’s a little weird especially with the high expectations I had for this year, but that’s not going to stop me from going out there running hard and being a leader to this team,” Smith said. “I’m confident we will find our stride very soon.”

R-B drops to 1-2

Riverside-Brookfield coach Brendan Curtain anticipated hitting a few bumps in the road this season. With three starters total back from last season’s 8-2 team, Curtain knew his team would experience some growing pains.

Week 3 was one of those moments. Bishop McNamara scored four touchdowns in a six-minute span to run away with a 64-0 win over the Bulldogs in Metro Suburban Conference play. 

“I think our boys are a young group,” Curtain said. “We start two freshmen, two sophomores and up to 10 juniors in any given game. We have kind of experienced baptism under fire.

“Our biggest obstacle is lack of varsity experience. We are trying to get them experienced in a short amount of time. I think our leadership will continue to grow. It’s tough for the seniors to find their voice on a young team. But we’ve done some good things in the first three weeks.”

The Bulldogs (1-2, 0-1) have another tough test against undefeated Aurora Christian (3-0, 1-0) at home Sept. 14. 

“Aurora Christian has been a successful football program in the past and always had tremendous skill position players,” Curtain said. “They are capable of scoring in bunches.”

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