Tony Mortensen talks about senior year and future

6-4, 210 pound quarterback Tony Mortensen of Hutchinson verbally committed to the Gophers in September. The outstanding signal caller is having a solid senior campaign, despite missing four games with a knee injury. Hutchinson (9-3) defeated Farmington 34-18 victory in last Friday's Class 4A state semifinals at the Metrodome. They will play for the Class 4A state championship versus 10-1 Totino Grace tonight. Golden caught up with the Hutchinson quarterback after Friday's win.

Mortensen rushed 62 times for 422 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and five touchdowns.

He completed 41 of 67 passes (61.2%) for 559 yards. He threw for four touchdowns and three interceptions.  3 4 89 79.9


Hutchinson started the season 2-2 and finished the regular season 5-3 with Mortensen sidelined for four games before winning four straight playoff contests. This was much different than last year when the Tigers were undefeated going into the state tournament before getting knocked off by Mahtomedi in the semifinals on a late field goal.


You guys are peaking at the right time. You missed some time early in the season and had some inexperienced players. Talk about the way you are playing now?


"We are definitely peaking at the right time. I don't even think that we've peaked yet. Hopefully, that will come in the last game. Our inexperience has turned into experience now. It's going along well right now."


Was is frustrating not being able to play those four games? I know that you are a competitive player, a three-year starter. How frustrating was it not to be able to play?


"I want to be out there so bad. But, I knew that it was not the most important part of our season. It was midseason and I knew that I was going to get back there somehow. It is better to be playing now."


Obviously with you being gone and having an inexperienced quarterback, you guys relied even more on the rushing game and now that is really paying off. Do you see that even though you were always a good running team, that with you sidelined, you became an even better rushing team?


"Yes, it is. When I wasn't in there. Brooks (Albrecht) did a good job, but they were stacking nine guys in the box and they knew we were going to run. They were expecting the run. But now, we can still run and we are doing a good job at it. But, we can also pass and I can also run. It brings more depth to our offense."


How many Gopher games were you able to make it to this year?


I made it to four or five. I think I made pretty much all of the home games.


Have you thought much while watching the Gophers about where you fit in? Or talked to the coaches about it?


I have not talked too much about it. I think that I'll fit really well in the offense. I watched pregame warm-ups and their offense during the season. It is kind of similar to ours, a little option. They run. They throw. I have not really talked about how I fit in right now, but we'll see. Whatever works out."


The Gophers have gotten commitments for two other quarterbacks, Johnny Carlson of Hopkins and Mike Maciejowski of Upper Arlington, Ohio. They had told you that due to lack of quarterbacks on the roster with starter Asad Abdul-Khaliq and backup Benji Kamrath graduating, that they would recruit two or three. Does that concern you at all in terms of where you fit with the team or are you just going to take it as it comes?


"I think it will be good. I knew that they were going to sign a couple. It just gives me more momentum to work harder and try to get the starting spot."


Gopher fans can watch the Tigers and Gopher commitments Mortensen and tackle Lydon Murtha on FOX 9.



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