Perhaps it was tempting if not understandable for the Oak Parkand River Forest H.S. football team to look a bit past overmatched Morton in anticipation of Saturday night's IHSA release of the playoff seeds and matchups. Instead, the Huskies took care of the business at hand (as OPRF has done all season) by jumping host Morton early en route to a 41-6 win Friday at Hoffman Stadium in Berwyn.
The Huskies scored four first-quarter touchdowns to seize a commanding 28-0 lead and never looked back in defeating the Mustangs for their final postseason tune-up opportunity.
OPRF senior running back Jamal Baggett opened the scoring barrage on an 8-yard run at 6:43 of the first quarter. Junior quarterback Lloyd Yates connected with wide receiver Jeremy Moore on a 49-yard touchdown pass play to extend the Huskies' lead to 14-0 with 4:19 left in the opening quarter. Baggett added a 14-yard touchdown scamper and Yates threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Purdue-bound wide receiver Simmie Cobbs to close out the first-quarter scoring.
With an impressive arsenal of wide receivers at his disposal, the efficient Yates (6-for-9, 201 yards passing, three touchdowns) opted for a 57-yard touchdown pass to senior Kejuan Ratcliff at the 10:39 mark of the second quarter to give OPRF a 35-0 advantage.
A running clock kicked in at 3:53 remaining in the third quarter when reserve quarterback Jake Lintvelt tossed a 66-yard pass to sophomore running back Antonio Cannon, making the score 41-0. Cannon led OPRF in rushing with 57 yards on seven carries, while Baggett rushed five times for 30 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Mustangs finally found the scoreboard on a 2-yard touchdown run with 8:10 remaining in the game. Kenneth Brown (four tackles, interception), Mike Moran (three tackles, interception), Andre Lee (four tackles) and Colin Boie (four tackles) led OPRF defensively, which limited Morton to just 224 yards of total offense on 62 plays for a paltry 3.6 yards per play. Conversely, the Huskies racked up 399 yards of offense on 39 plays (10.2 yards per play)
OPRF finished the regular season with a glittering 8-1 overall record, including an impressive 5-1 mark in the highly regarded West Suburban Silver. The Huskies' lone loss this season was a 20-14 setback to defending Class 7A state champion Glenbard West.
The Huskies will watch the IHSA playoff pairings show Saturday night to see their placement in the Class 8A bracket.