MORRIS — The Morris football team is hoping rinse the bad taste of last week's 28-7 loss to Class 5A No. 1 Washington out of its mouth Friday, but it won't be easy.
The Redskins (1-1) take on Crete-Monee, which enters the game with an 0-2 record. However, Morris coach Alan Thorson knows that the Warriors' record is misleading. They have lost to Lincoln-Way East and Brother Rice.
"They're 0-2, but we aren't lookng at that at all," Thorson said. "Look at the two teams they have played already. Lincoln-Way East is the defending Class 8A champ and they are ranked nationally, and Brother Rice is a top-15 team in Illinois, regarless of class.
"From what we have seen on film, Crete-Monee is a good team. They have some big boys and lots of speed."
One of the big boys Thorson mentioned is Deion Harry, who is 6-foot-6 and listed at 260 pounds. Harry will see time at defensive end, middle linebacker and tight end, and has several Division I offers, including Oregon State.
But Harry is hardly a one-man show.
"The hardest thing for us is to simulate their speed in practice," Thorson said. "We always do a good job of preparing and we have had a good week of practice, but until you get on the field with them, it's hard to know exactly how fast they are. We know their defense is going to fly to the ball, and we have to be as quick as we can."
What is more important to Thorson than what Crete-Monee brings to the table is how his own team performs, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
"Even though we have had good practices this week, the true test will be how we respond Friday under the lights," he said. "No one is happy coming off a loss. But, we have to learn from it and move forward.
"We have to focus on everything, but the target is on our offense to see if they can get back on track after last week. Washington is a good team, and they had something to do with us not moving the ball well, but we still need to perform better. And, even though our defense has been pretty good the first two weeks, we can't get lazy on defense or special teams. They do a lot of things on special teams that we need to prepare for, and their offensive guys are very fast."
Although it is just the third game of a nine-game season, Thorson knows that this game is big for the Redskins, especially with a grueling Northern Illinois Big 12 East schedule coming up.
"This game is big for both teams," he said. "There's a big difference for us being 2-1 and being 1-2 heading into conference play. And, Crete definitely doesn't want to start out 0-3. We both need a win this week and they are going to give us everything they've got. We have to be prepared to answer that.
"The biggest thing is that we need to be consistent. We have to carry over what we do in practice to game night. We can't have the mistakes we had last week. We aren't going to change our scheme, but we have to execute what we do a lot better."