EAST CHICAGO — Morton has proven all season that it has one of the most explosive offenses in the Region, and Friday night the Times No. 4 Governors proved it once again.
In a Great Lakes Athletic Conference matchup with EC Central, Morton earned a 47-3 road victory to secure at least a share of its third straight conference title and fifth consecutive game with over 40 points. Junior wide receiver JoJo Johnson got things started right away with a 75-yard return on the opening kickoff, which eventually led to a 13-yard touchdown run from junior running back La’Mayne Braswell a few plays later.
The Governors’ quick first drive foreshadowed a strong offensive performance, but their lopsided win wasn’t always pretty. They traded numerous penalties with EC Central (5-3, 3-1) throughout the entire game. However, Morton coach Sean Kinsey wasn’t concerned. He thinks his team was just playing with intensity.
“A lot of the penalties were a result of us just finishing plays,” Kinsey said. “I think we’ll be OK. A lot of them were just us playing an extra step through the whistle. I’m not too worried about the penalties we got.”
Quarterback Paris Hewlett continues to lead the way for Morton (7-1, 4-0), which extended its winning streak to seven games. He threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Marcus Hardy in the first quarter, and they weren't the only ones to get in on the action
The Governors used a balanced attack to spoil the Cardinals' homecoming and snap their three-game winning streak, highlighted by senior running back Damaris Rias. He finished the game with 15 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns, with his most dazzling run coming on a 34-yard score early in the fourth quarter.
Rias has recorded a team-high 10 rushing touchdowns and is one of seven Morton players to score on the ground this season. The senior credited his success to his offensive linemen, who have helped the team rush for nearly 2,000 yards.
“Without our (offensive) line, none of the skill players can do what they do,” Rias said. “It starts up front with them. If they don’t get me those wide open holes, I wouldn’t be making any plays at all. Everything goes through them.”
Johnson capped off the 44-point victory with a 45-yard pick-six midway through the fourth quarter. The junior ranks second on the team with five interceptions and also had a 13-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter.
Despite his heavy workload and rarely leaving the field, Johnson embraces being the "utility guy" for his team and said he is eager to continue leaving his mark on all three phases of the game.
“It just shows my skill set,” said Johnson, who has a handful of Division I scholarship offers, including Ball State and Toledo. “I can basically play everything, and college coaches like that.”