Morris was within a field goal at halftime, but Sycamore pulled away in the second half for a 43-21 Northern Illinois Big 12 East football win Friday night.
“We just kept making plays. We made a few more plays,” Sycamore coach Joe Ryan said. “It was a hard-fought win on the road. When you come into Morris, playing on the road, it’s tough to get a win.”
Morris forced a three-and-out on Sycamore’s initial series, but the Redskins failed to pick up the resulting punt and the Spartans recovered. A 30-yard pass from Devin Mottet to Ben Niemann helped position them for a 2-yard Mottet touchdown run.
It took all of one offensive play for Morris to answer. Jake Walker went off right tackle and quickly found open field, outrunning the defense for a 73-yard touchdown and a tie game less than five minutes in.
A 12-play Sycamore drive ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Mottet to Niemann on fourth-and-8. Morris turned the ball over on downs on its next series, but Walker intercepted Mottet to give Morris possession at Sycamore’s 25. Four plays later, a misdirection play sprung Robbie Meucci on an 11-yard touchdown run.
The next Sycamore drive extended as far as the Morris 1, but a delay of game penalty there helped force the Spartans to settle for a 20-yard Tyler Maveus field goal with 3:53 left in the second quarter. Morris had a field goal attempt of its own before the half ended, but Jake Reed’s 35-yard try was short.
“The biggest thing we wanted is to come out and play with some pride, play with some heart,” Morris coach Alan Thorson said. “The first half of football, I don’t know if we could of played better. That’s an outstanding team, and I really thought the kids played well. Everybody. Both lines. Jake Walker ran outstanding.”
Sycamore (6-0, 2-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) forced the Redskins to go three-and-out on the opening series of the second half and drove 71 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown to extend its lead to 10 points. Again Morris had an answer, as Walker followed up a third-down pass from Griffin Sobol to Jeremy Shannon with a 39-yard touchdown run.
After punts by both teams, Sycamore put together another long drive that produced a 1-yard Riley Hurley touchdown run.
The Redskins drove a yard into Sycamore territory on their next series, but faced fourth-and-11 and opted to punt. After forcing the Spartans to punt, the Redskins (2-4, 0-2) lost a fumble on the first play of their next series, and a 3-yard Hurley touchdown run with 5 minutes to play served as a dagger.