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No lack of key moments in Saturday’s big game

Minooka defensive end Anthony Phillips puts pressure on Morris quarterback Griffin Sobol during Saturday’s game in Morris.
Minooka defensive end Anthony Phillips puts pressure on Morris quarterback Griffin Sobol during Saturday’s game in Morris.

There were no lack of defining moments in Saturday’s football game between visiting Minooka and Morris. By now, you already know that the Indians came to town and won (21-14) for the first time ever at Morris.

By the way, I thought they were the much better team Saturday, as did most observers.

Minooka now is 4-15 in the football series against Morris having won in Minooka in 1994 (12-7), in the 4A playoffs in 1996 (29-28, OT) and in 2000 (20-14).

In no particular order of importance, here were the defining moments of Saturday’s game: Morris going for it on fourth down in the first quarter, trailing 7-0 and on their own 39; a fumbled punt midway through the third quarter by the normally-reliable Kyle Hill; Minooka’s ability to answer adversity in the fourth quarter and then put the game away on defense.

The first question – why would Morris go for it on fourth down on their own 39 in the first quarter?

“The overall mental mistakes we made hurt. We had a snapped ball on a play where we were supposed to be in a freeze count,” Morris coach Alan Thorson said. “One where we weren’t going to run a play. We were going to call a timeout and punt. It’s stuff we practice every day. It was a mental mistake.”

Thorson indicated he also felt bad for Hill on the muffed punt in the third quarter.

“Kyle’s been outstanding for us last year and this year returning, and he just made a mistake,” Thorson said. “The kid is fighting hard out there, but the turnovers have been the factor in each of the last times we’ve played. It’s what determines which team wins and we lost the turnover battle.”

Morris, which did not even record a first down on offense until 11:20 of the game had elapsed, finally scored in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing kickoff Zach Zamora returns the ball 76 yards but it comes back on a Minooka penalty. Despite that the Indians go 60 yards in four plays and score on a drive that took less than a minute off the clock.

The time on the eventual final score was recorded? 9:11.

“I thought the defense played hard, but that was the one drive where I felt we had a defensive letdown,,” Thorson said. “We needed a big stop there. We had just gotten the momentum and then they went down and scored.”

Hello emergency dispatch.

“At halftime we felt that it was going to come down to us offensively. The thing I’m excited about is that we showed that we can do those things,” Minooka coach Paulie Forsythe said. “We can clean up the penalties, but I’m excited because we proved that we were able to do those things.”

Things that added up to victory, exemplified when Minooka defensive end Anthony Phillips sacked Morris quarterback Griffin Sobol with 1:26 remaining.

“The way Sobol was running around back there, it seemed like he had all sorts of time. The defense came up big in the end and we’re super excited,” Forsythe said. “This game probably gave me a few more gray hairs, but the defense did come up big at the end there and made the stop.”

What’s your emergency?

“There was a lot of little mistakes,” Thorson said. “I don’t know if it was first-game jitters or what, but its the kind of things we haven’t seen from this team at practice. Things the crowd may not have even realized.

“[The Indians] were the better team. I’m not going to sugar coat it. They beat us and we’ll get better next week. It’s a long season and we are not giving up on these boys.”

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