CHICAGO – The Morris football team’s offense churned out 297 yards on the ground in Saturday’s 43-8 win over Chicago Raby in the Class 4A semifinals. Numbers that large don’t come around unless the offensive line is doing its job.
Nolan Feeney is the center on the offensive line, and many of the Redskins’ big runs came on big holes through the middle, where he was blocking.
The senior quad-captain also was recently named to the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 4A All-State team, one of only two offensive linemen on the 18-member squad.
MHN: How does it feel to be going to state?
Feeney: It feels great. This is what we have been working our whole lives for. We really don’t want to see it end.
MHN: Will you kid your brother, Austin, about you getting to state and he didn’t?
Feeney: Yeah, he graduated the year before the 2012 team went to state, so I guess I get to give him a hard time about my team making it and his didn’t. But my dad [Jim] won a state championship in 1984, so I guess I still have something to live up to.
MHN: Do you remember the last state championship team from 2005?
Feeney: I was 6 years old when that team won, so I remember it a little bit. I have always grown up with Morris football and I know there is a lot of tradition here. That 2012 team that went to state, we thought they were superheroes. Now, hopefully, the younger kids are watching us and thinking the same thing and they can keep it going.
MHN: What do you think about playing Rochester in the title game?
Feeney: Well, they’ve won a lot lately. But we think we are pretty good, too. It should be a real good game.
MHN: What stands out for you so far this season?
Feeney: I would say that since the start of the playoffs, nobody wants the season to end. We have always tried to do our best each week and do what it takes to win. Everybody looks out for each other on this team and we all hang out together. We are a pretty tight group and we will help whoever needs it.
MHN: How did it feel to be named All-State?
Feeney: It’s a great honor and accomplishment, but I am more focused on how the team is doing than any individual awards.