After suffering multiple injuries to its offensive line in the first two weeks of the season, Stevenson knew it would rely on its outside threats to carry the Patriots.
Head coach Bill McNamara did just that, and Friday afternoon both Matt Morrissey and Cameron Green were named to the IHSA Class 8A All-State team.
Morrissey, a senior headed to Michigan State next season, was named to the team for the second straight year after posting 89 tackles, five interceptions and a fumble recovery for a touchdown at safety. On offense, Morrissey caught 40 passes for 750 yards and 10 touchdowns.
“He’s one of hardest, if not the hardest worker on the team,” head coach Bill McNamara told CSNChicago.com earlier in the year. “He leads by example; he talks to the players and he helps them and he teaches them. It’s like having another coach as a player. He’s an incredible football player, he’s a great student; he’s really the complete package.”
He has missed the last two weeks -- playoff wins over Glenbard North and Barrington -- with a hamstring injury, but has been the team's unquestioned leader all season long. His best performances include an 14-tackle outing against Lake Zurich in the conference championship, 121 receiving yards, a touchdown and an interception in a win over Warren and two receiving touchdowns in his only playoff action of the year, a 35-7 first round win over St. Charles East.
Of the 18 players selected to the Class 8A team, Green was the only junior.
An explosive playmaker at wide receiver, Green has caught 43 passes for 835 yards and 10 touchdowns this year. His 19.4 yards per reception have made him a threat to go all the way on any given play, including a three-touchdown performance against Mundelein and a pair of 100-yard receiving afternoons thus far in the playoffs.
"Cameron is just a freak athlete. He hasn't shaved yet, and this kid’s 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and he is a phenomenal athlete," McNamara said earlier in the year. "He’s kind of a freak of nature. You put the ball up there and he’ll go get it.”
Green has stepped in for the injured Morrissey and intercepted a pair of passes in the playoffs, and also acts as the team's punter. But his biggest impact -- at least for a single game -- was felt two weeks ago against Glenbard North.
With the Patriots down 16-14 with five minutes to play, Green returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown to give Stevenson a 20-16 lead it did not surrender, advancing past fellow All-State member Justin Jackson and the Panthers.
Morrissey and Green were on the receiving end of quarterback Willie Bourbon's passes all year. Bourbon, a second-year starter as a junior, threw for more than 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns for the run-first Patriots.
The Patriots host top-ranked Loyola this Saturday for a shot to go to the state championship game next weekend in DeKalb.