Phelaning it: OPRF quarterback John Phelan dives for one of his three running touchdowns during Saturday's win over Morton.J. GEIL/Staff Photographer

Morton 0

OPRF High School’s homecoming extended beyond students, alumni and fans during the football team’s 46-0 thumping of Morton on Saturday afternoon. The visiting Mustangs’ coaching staff, led by first-year head coach Bob Organ, along with assistants Randy Borgardt, Max Sakellaris, Josh McMahon and Ed O’Bradovich, formerly all wore the Huskies’ burnt orange and navy blue.

“They are all our old coaches so we know what they do and they know what we do,” OPRF quarterback John Phelan said. “We respect them, but it feels great to get the win.”

Phelan (6-for-9, 135 yards/15 carries, 150 yards) certainly played a major role in spoiling his former coaches’ return to Oak Park Stadium, accounting for four touchdowns — three TD runs and a TD pass — coupled with the bruising work of 200-pound running back Tony Stapleton. Stapleton (20 carries, 147 yards) scored on a six-yard run and kicker Isaac Chadri added the PAT to put the Huskies up 7-0 at the eight-minute mark of the first quarter. Since returning from a midseason groin injury, Stapleton has performed well, especially considering the news fellow running back Zach Draus is possibly out for the season with an injury to his chest cavity. Draus was to see a doctor this week, but head coach Jim Nudera said he’s likely out for the season as a precautionary measure.

“I feel good and I’ve just been working through the pain,” Stapleton said. “I feel like I’m getting stronger day by day. Both our [offensive and defensive] lines are doing a great job. For [our] seniors, we just have to put it all together.”

The Huskies, who were also without linebacker Joe Donlan (foot injury) broke the game open early in the second quarter, scoring a pair of touchdowns within the first minute of action to build a 20-0 advantage. Sophomore Jakari Cammon (10 carries, 65 yards) scored on a 24-yard run off left tackle to open the quarter. Three plays later, OPRF defensive end Ed Guen-Murray scooped up a Morton fumble and ran three yards into the end zone. Phelan added a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 27-0 with 5:06 remaining until halftime.

Phelan stayed hot in the third quarter by tacking on a six-yard scamper to pay dirt and tossing a 47-yard touchdown pass to Francis Bourke to extend the Huskies’ lead to 39-0 after three quarters of play. The junior finished his scoring flurry with a one-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.

“We played well and executed what we wanted to do,” Nudera said. “John [Phelan] did a number of things that we have been talking about like being open minded and taking the ball when he needs to. John is a junior so he’s growing up. I think he is headed in the right direction.”

In the closing minutes, Morton (3-4) had a first-and-goal on the Huskies’ 3-yard line, but linebacker Brennan Van Spankeren recovered a Mustangs’ fumble to secure the shutout. Jeremy Keys (12 carries, 90 yards) paced Morton offensively.

OPRF welcomes Proviso West for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday.

“Proviso West is an impressive football team,” Nudera said. “We’ll have our hands full against them.”

Join the discussion on social media!

Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...