MORRIS – Despite entering Friday night’s Northern Illinois Big 12 East game against Kaneland with a 3-5 record, Morris’ football team was still mathematically alive for the playoffs. A lot of things had to go Morris’ way, though, the first of which was a Redskins’ victory.
Unfortunately, Kaneland had different ideas, as the Knights rolled to a 49-14 win, ending Morris’ season with a 3-6 record.
It is the first losing season for Morris since 2000.
Early on, it looked like the Redskins might just get that all-important win against the once-beaten Knights.
Junior running back Jake Walker ran 84 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:03 left in the first quarter.
The run put Walker, who finished with 96 yards on 10 carries, above the 1,000-yard plateau for the season and was his 12th touchdown of the season.
After that, though, Kaneland was dominant on both sides of the ball. The Knights took a 42-7 lead into halftime as quarterback Drew David threw four touchdown passes, and Isaac Swithers and Nate Dyer each ran for one. Dylan Nauert caught a pair of touchdown passes, with one each going to Swithers and Brandon Bishop. Kaneland amassed 353 total yards and 15 first downs before halftime and, other than Walker’s big run, held Morris to 30 yards and one first down.
The lone defensive highlight for the Redskins before halftime was an interception by senior Kyle Hill.
Morris fumbled on the first snap of the second half, and Kaneland took over at the Redskins’ 24. Swithers immediately went 24 yards for a score and a 49-7 lead, starting the running clock for the rest of the game.
Kaneland emptied its bench after taking the 49-7 lead, as did Morris, allowing some seniors that hadn’t normally gotten much playing time into the game.
Dean Meucci, a senior captain, ran for a 34-yard score with 1:34 to play, providing the final margin after senior Matt Darlington’s extra-point kick.