DeKALB – It seemed like the farther DeKalb was pushed back, it just gave Dre Brown more space to run.
Brown finished with 257 yards rushing, and the Barbs (4-3, 1-2 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) ran away with a 40-14 win over Morris (2-5, 0-3 NI Big 12 East) in DeKalb on Friday night.
Brown’s two rushing scores came from within DeKalb’s own 10-yard line, and the junior running back also added a touchdown catch. Senior quarterback Jack Sauter rushed for 128 yards and two scores of his own.
Junior running back Jake Walker ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Redskins, who were eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2000.
“It’s kind of been the story of our year that when things go bad, they really go bad for us,” Morris head coach Alan Thorson said. “We didn’t play great, but [DeKalb] definitely beat us tonight.”
Morris opened the scoring with a touchdown run from Walker, but the Barbs were quick to answer with their big-play ability.
Sauter broke multiple tackles on the way to a 34-yard score, and Brown followed shortly after with a 97-yard touchdown.
Walker ended a strong Morris drive with a touchdown, but like Thorson said, things got really bad for the Redskins after that. Sauter broke free for a 42-yard score shortly before halftime, and after the break, Morris couldn’t find its rhythm offensively. DeKalb sophomore David Long showcased his athleticism on two impressive sacks of Redskins junior quarterback Griffin Sobol.
Brown ran the Morris defense ragged with a touchdown grab and an impressive 94-yard run. Junior running back Eriq Torrey tiptoed along the sideline and dove into the end zone on a 48-yard carry to wrap up the scoring.
For Morris, it’s only the second time with five regular-season losses since 1977, and the Redskins still have two tough matchups against Rochelle and Kaneland. Despite struggles that the school hasn’t seen in in a decade, Thorson said his team will play hard until the end.
“We haven’t, and we never will give up on these kids,” Thorson said. “We’re not happy with the situation we’re in, but we’re still going to go out and play the last two games as hard as if we were in the playoffs.”