MORTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — After a record-setting season last fall, Morton was ready to get back to work.

The Potters have 100 players out of football after marching all the way to the class 5A state semifinals in 2021, head coach Tim Brilley said.

They have nine starters back from a 10-3 team that shared the Mid-Illini Conference championship and earned a fourth straight playoff berth. But Morton’s top player from last year is not back.

Tailback Seth Glatz, who rushed for 3,246 yards and scored 47 touchdowns in 13 games, graduated.

“Obviously that’s a big chunk of offense to replace,” Brilley said. “We’ve got some good, talented players we are excited about. A good offensive line with three of those guys returning. We might do it with a couple guys, but we’ll figure it out as we go.”

Brilley says running backs Carl Whitaker and Brett Michel are the favorites to share backfield duties this fall. Jude Hart is the likely successor of the graduated Layne Kaufman at quarterback.

Morton may have snuck up on teams last year but it won’t be able to do that this fall.

“It’ll definitely make us work a little harder knowing we have a target on our back because of what we did last year,” said senior Jack Stump. “But we are embracing the challenge, we like that.”

Morton opens the season Aug. 26 at Mahomet-Seymour, the school it eliminated in the state quarterfinals last November.

“It’s a double-edged sword. Sure, we were good last year but now everyone thinks they can beat us this year. We just have a big target on our back this year,” said senior Ian Mutchler. “It’ll be fun everyday to goo out and compete”.