Timeout Football: Game of the Week — Morton at Hammond
By Mike Hutton 613-0141 or email@example.com September 12, 2013 11:14PM
Morton High's running back #22 Mark Snorton broke a long gain early in a game versus Lowell High, on 8/31/13. Morton went ahead in a close battle 14 to 7 with 5 minutes left in the game. | John Booz/for the Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 15, 2013 7:21AM
This certainly seems like a long-shot game for Hammond.
Morton is undefeated with solid wins over Griffith and Lowell, and an identity that is slightly uncharacteristic of a Governors team.
They are, for now at least, a team with a defensive bent.
But this rivalry tends to bring out the best effort from Hammond. See last year when the Wildcats dropped the Governors by two touchdowns at Morton.
The Governors certainly won’t lack for confidence Friday.
“Defensively, we’re pretty athletic and active,” Morton coach Roy Richards said. “We feel like we have size and strength up front to play against any team.”
What Morton doesn’t have yet is the kind of sling-it-down-the-field offense the Governors have trademarked over the years.
Tory Armstrong, a part-time quarterback last year, is gradually progressing.
Mark Snorton, a slot receiver, is Morton’s best running back. He rushed for 80 yards against Griffith. Jarrett Dickey and Darius Coty are game-breaking wide receivers, while fullback Gino Alavania has helped rebuild an offensive line that was decimated by graduation.
The plan for the Governors is to continue to improve on offense and keep the defensive standards high.
Richards likes the position his team is in now. He said this team reminds him of his 2009 team, which also won with a stingy defense.
“I love it because our defense is so good,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if we turn the ball over because we feel like we can get the ball back pretty quickly.”
For the Wildcats, Morton is a difficult challenge.
They lost by 23 to East Chicago and by a touchdown to Highland.
There is one bit of good news for the Wildcats this week.
Eric Schreiber Jr., the son of Hammond coach Eric Schreiber, is healing up from an injury.
Schreiber sat out last week against Bowman so he’d be healthy tonight.
Hammond runs the spread option. Their leading rusher is Deshone Roberson. One of Schreiber’s other options on offense is running back Anthony Fleming.
The Wildcats like to spread out the ball to various players on offense.
If they are going to win, Hammond will have to make some big plays on offense and play mistake-free football overall.
“This is a typical Morton team,” Schreiber said. “They have plenty of athletes and they really like to spread the ball around. They look like they’re very aggressive on defense.”