Football: Gunn, Minooka fired up after victory over Morris
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media August 31, 2013 10:36PM
With Minooka ahead 14-0 late in the first half Saturday, Morris coach Alan Thorson decides on a play to give quarterback Griffin Sobol. | Tim Tierney~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 31, 2013 11:42PM
Running behind a burly offensive front, Minooka’s Nathan Gunn slipped through the middle of the line from eight yards out to give the Indians a 21-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
It was Gunn’s second touchdown of the game and turned out to be the winning points Saturday night in a 21-14 victory over Morris, last year’s Class 5A state runner-up.
“Great win, great win,’’ second-year Minooka coach Paul Forsythe said to his team after the Indians assembled near the end zone.
Gunn, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior who rushed for more than 500 yards last year on the varsity, gained 154 yards on 16 carries.
“My offensive line, they’re huge guys,’’ Gunn said. “They push, I get to move the rock. I just lowered my shoulders and ran hard. If I run hard, my offensive line is already going to do what they have to do.’’
Guard Paul Stawarz (6-5, 290) and tackle Alec Shannon (5-11, 205) are the returning starters on an offensive line that includes center James Lang (6-3, 260), guard Gabriel Parker (6-3, 270) and tackle Brock Whalen (6-foot, 250).
“We’ve got some depth at offensive line,’’ Forsythe said. “Obviously, being big, it helps us.’’
Gunn’s 65-yard run on Minooka’s second possession set up his 2-yard TD plunge for a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.
“We knew he was going to be a player for us,’’ Forsythe said. “We made him compete for the job. He took that to heart and he went out every day in practice and proved he was the best guy.’’
Anthony Mack caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Shane Briscoe to put Minooka ahead 14-0 late in the first quarter.
Morris junior quarterback Griffin Sobol completed 19-of-33 passes for 250 yards and one interception.
Jake Walker’s 9-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter after a Minooka pass-interference penalty cut the Indians’ lead to 14-7.
After Gunn’s second touchdown, Sobol’s passes to Trevor Allbert and Robbie Meucci helped set up a 3-yard scoring run by Walker to make it 21-14 with 6:57 to play.
“The defense came up big at the end,’’ Forsythe said.
That included Anthony Phillips’ sack of Sobol in the last minute.
Morris plays nonconference games against Metamora, Geneseo and Dixon before the Redskins open their Northern Illinois Big 12 East schedule on Sept. 27 at Yorkville.
The next two weeks don’t get easier for Minooka. The Indians host Providence and play at Oswego, the defending Southwest Prairie champion.
“Once again, two teams that beat us last year,’’ Gunn said. “But you know what, that’s a motivation.’’
“We’re going to know early where we’re at,’’ Forsythe said.