Morris Community High School was still buzzing on Monday after the Redskins' thrilling overtime win in the IHSA Class 5A State Football Playoffs. It turned out to be a 28-27 win by the locals over Washington in a game in which they were behind 21-7 at one point with about 10 minutes to go.
"It was definitely exciting and closer than we'd like it to be, but credit goes to a very good Washington team. It was a quarterfinal game and you are going to expect a good game. They brought their 'A' game and gave us everything they had," Morris coach Alan Thorson said while filming this week's video, which can be found on the Morris Daily Herald website.
"I think it showed our kid's character and the fight this group has. I've seen that all year out of them. When we were down 14, the best thing I can say is that nobody panicked and nobody gave up and they were able to pull out a really huge win for us."
Morris senior fullback and nose tackle Collin Grogan said he didn't like the feeling at all when the Redskins were behind by 14 so late in the game.
"I don't know what was wrong with our team. We went into halftime and it seemed like we weren't focused on the game. We were like going through the motions," he said. "I realized in the fourth quarter with about 10 minutes left what was going on. Talking to the team in the huddle I told them 'we have 10 minutes left until the end of our life, let's get it done' and we picked it up."
Morris rallied to tie the game and send it to overtime. Then in the extra session, Grogan blocked the PAT kick after Washington scored to open OT.
"Everyone went wild. I was just like, 'Did I really block that?' and everyone went crazy," Grogan said. "It pumped us up and we came out and scored in our possession of overtime."
Even two days after the game, Grogan was still trying to figure out if the win had sunk in.
"Last week was pretty hectic because we were down. Then we came back and everyone was going crazy," he said. "I don't even know how to feel because I was praying on the sidelines when I wasn't in. It was pretty wild for us to come back like that."
It was a game in which the Redskins broke out the always lurking and often insidious offense known as Hawaii. For the newbies out there. It is a formation which places the bulk of the offensive linemen off to one side of the field with one back behind them while leaving the center, quarterback and another back near the center of the field. The remaining wide receivers are then split — mostly to the right. The only play that was run by the Redskins resulted in an interception, but Thorson said that was more a result of the field conditions at the time than anything.
"The whole thing with that was this. The play was really wide open for a while. Looking back on film, there was a couple of or really muddy spots on the field and we called that in literally the worst spot. (Quarterback Zach Cinnamon) was slipping as he threw the ball," Thorson said. "You never know. It's not our main offense, but it's something we throw out every once in a while. We've looked really good in it in practice, but on Saturday it didn't work out like we wanted it to."