MORRISTOWN, NJ – The Morristown High School football program will be playing this season in memory of COVID-19 victim Darrell Johnson. Johnson, a lifelong Morristown resident and member of the 1993 state championship football team, passed away in April due to the virus. He was only 43 years old. He was an employee at Morristown High School.
“He was a vital member of the community,” said Morristown fifth-year head coach John Power. “We obviously feel horrible for him and his young family.”
The Colonials will be playing a six-game, shortened regular season. There will be a two- game postseason to follow that will be detailed at a later date.
Morristown opens the season with a home game against Morris Knolls on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 2:30 p.m. The team then hosts West Morris Central on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 1 p.m.
Morristown will be at Mount Olive on Friday, Oct. 16 for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Colonials stay on the road for a meeting with Randolph on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. Roxbury will follow on the road on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. Morristown concludes the regular season at home against local private foe Delbarton on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.
“We have a great familiarity with the opponents,” Power said. “The league itself (Super Football Conference-Freedom Blue) has some really good players and the coaches are tremendous. The teams are always prepared and every week you have to be ready to play football.”
Jackson Willette returns at quarterback for his senior year with Morristown. He finished 175-for-282 for 2,156 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He threw for at least 200 yards in every game but one last year.
“I think he’s going to continue to develop his game,” Power said. “We believe he’s the best quarterback in the county and one of the best quarterbacks in the state.”
Senior Brandon Walker also returns at wide receiver and safety. Senior Pat Fitzgerald returns at offensive lineman, as does David Lopez at defensive end. Senior Josh Hussey is another lineman who will be back for Morristown. Senior Othin Scott is a linebacker who could make an impact on the defensive end. Senior Ebube Ona is another playmaker at linebacker and wide receiver. Quron Lattimore, another senior, is an impactful linebacker who had four sacks a season ago and is a top tackler.
“We have some good players this year that have really changed the culture of the program,” Power said. “They understand how to compete every day and they work hard
in the classroom as well as on the field.”
Morristown has embraced the challenge of preparing as quickly as possible for the season opener rapidly approaching.
“We’re just making sure that we’re in shape – that has been the big thing,” Power added. “We have to concentrate on the little things with only one scrimmage and having only a
few weeks to practice.”
The Colonials had a lot of virtual workouts and team meetings in the offseason. For Power – like many of the other coaches in the state – just having football will be a special thing after a roller coaster of a year.
“I was thrilled when we were told we were having games,” the coach said. “The kids deserve it. I’m excited to open up.”
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