I covered the game for Daily Herald. Check out my condensed game recap for it HERE.
Let me know any thought you have on Twitter @lemminginsider.
Coming into this game at 2-4, head coach Paul Parpet knew his Blazers needed a win in order to stay in the playoff hunt. While, Addison Trail wasn’t perfect they pulled out a convincing 47-21 win over Morton. I caught up with coach Parpet after the game to get his thoughts.
“We definitely still need to get better. We have to continue to improve and figure out how to execute early. They ran the opening kickoff of the game back on us. However, we answered, and I was very proud of the way we came out and executed in the second half.”
One player that coach Parpet was not describing was junior RB Nick D’Ambrose. D’Ambrose night ended with 20 carriers for 207 yards and 3 touchdowns while also adding 3 receptions for 131 yards and 2 more touchdowns. Just another day at the office for Mr. D’Ambrose?
“I think our offensive line executed very well. We came out a little sloppy in the first half, but we came out and executed in the second half. Our offensive line played well all game, our quarterback, Bobby (Daniels), controlled the offense, and I think we executed in all facets.”
While giving credit to his OL unit including Jack Simko, Mike Renc and Randy Petrbok, all of whom played very well, it was D’Ambrose who stole the show. He broke tackles, made plays out of nothing and flashed his good speed on 3 plays of 50+ yards. While standing at 5’8″ 180lbs, D’Ambrose posses underrated power and good speed. He can play college ball, its just a matter of at what level and at what position. QB Bobby Daniels also had himself a day finishing 13 of 18 for 307 yards, 4 touchdowns (3 passing and 1 rushing) and no interceptions. His OL gave him all day to throw and especially so in the second half. D’Ambrose and Daniels carved up the Morton defense in the second half to the tune of 27 points, which very well could have been more had they not run the clock out since they had such a big lead. While he didn’t flash a cannon arm, Daniels showed he is a true pocket passer with nice touch on his ball. He possesses decent size for a QB at 6’1″ 185lbs, doesn’t force throws and has a high football IQ. His main targets were seniors Darrion Conrad and Stevan Jones. Conrad was the go to guy in the screen game for the Blazers catching Daniels’ passes for 7-9 yards chunks on numerous occasions. He flashed his big play ability by evading tacklers and gaining yards after the catch. At 6’3″ 175, Jones is a big bodied receiver that I feel as if didn’t get utilized enough. While he did have 4 catches for 107 yards, Morton ran a lot of 1on1 man coverage and I feel as if the Blazers should have given him more jump ball opportunities. This game was all about the Blazer offense, but Andrew Felix, Nick DiBernardo, Chris Purdy and Conrad all made plays on defense for the Blazers.
The Mustangs came out of the gates firing on all cylinders when senior Santino Novakowski returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a Morton TD. They stayed close this game tying the score at 21 by halftime. However, their defense seemed to tire and simply could not stop D’Ambrose and Daniels of Addison Trail. I spoke with head coach Bob Organ after the game and he seemed to agree.
“It was back and forth. We have to make plays and we have to execute. Defensively, we have to make tackles, it’s as simple as that. Offensively, we had opportunities, but we didn’t take advantage of them.”
While a 47-21 loss does not look pretty on paper, the Mustangs star still shined bright this game. Junior RB and returning offensive conference player of the year Greg Hoard rushed 28 times for 139 yards and 2 TDs while also adding 1 catch for 46 yards. Hoard showed why he was the returning offensive player of the year by routinely bouncing off tacklers and making 5-6 yard runs on plays that should have been blown up for 7 yard losses. Standing 5’8″ 180lbs, Hoard’s size, stature and playing style is strikingly similar to Addison Trail’s Nick D’Ambrose. While he did make big plays, he also got himself into trouble at times by trying to do to much, taking big losses in the process. Morton OL Goran Dzolic paved the way for Hoard who at times had room to run, while at other points was stifled before he could get anything going. QB Fernando Adame didn’t have much success through the air completing only 2 of his 9 passes for 51 yards and an interception. WR Andre Hudson and Hoard had the lone catches for the Mustangs. Nick Johnson, Charles Jefferson, Adame and Mike Ruffolo all contributed to the run game of the Mustangs.
After watching this team play they looked much better than their 1-6 record would dictate. Wether it be bubble screens or play action, the Mustangs have to get some sort of passing game going as opponents simply key in on the run game to stop Hoard. Hoard is good, but he can only do so much when defenses stack to box to stop him. While upcoming opponents Leyden and Hinsdale South are not cupcake teams, I think coach Organ and the Mustangs can make a few tweaks to their game plan and surprise some people these last 2 games. I’d love to see them get a couple W’s to end the season.