OPRF   35
Morton 12

Oak Park and River Forest head football coach Jim Nudera may want to lift the gag order he placed on his players for discussing the team’s controversial 46-45 double overtime loss to Hinsdale Central two weeks ago. The Huskies showed no signs the disappointing loss had any effect on them against Morton on Friday night, rolling to a 35-12 West Suburban Conference crossover victory against the Mustangs in Berwyn.

OPRF (2-4) kept its playoff chances alive by scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter of Friday night’s game. Trailing the Falcons (1-6) 6-0 with 9:51 left in the first half, running back Tony Stapleton (124 yards, 20 carries) marched in from six yards out to put the Huskies on the board. Jack Rogalla then tossed two touchdown passes to two different receivers in the quarter.

Rogalla (5-of-11, 66 yards) connected with Dustin Walters on a 4-yard touchdown pass. Then, a little over two minutes later, Rogalla hit Darnell Lee for a 7-yard touchdown, giving the Huskies a cushiony 21-6 lead by the break.

OPRF upped its advantage in the third quarter when Rogalla connected with Francis Bourke on a screen pass that ended up a 28-yard touchdown. Reserve running back Mike Morroco rushed in from eight yards out in the fourth to close out the scoring for OPRF.

As for the loss to sixth-ranked Hinsdale Central that ended unceremoniously by officials in double-overtime the week prior, Nudera said the IHSA’s head of officials stopped by his office last week and extensively reviewed the controversial play.

“There’s nothing that can be done to change the call at this point, but I made it clear to him that the officials need to make more of an effort so the right call is made,” he said. “We’re moving on from it.”

The Huskies head west to Hillside to take on Proviso West on Friday night (7 p.m.). The Panthers began the season 4-0 but on Saturday fell 45-21 to Lyons Township, who the Huskies defeated 35-31 last month. Proviso West boasts USC-bound wide receiver Kyle Prater.

OPRF will host Downers Grove North on Oct. 23 (7:30 p.m.), for its final game of the regular season.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...