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Sycamore's offense thwarted by Morris

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(Rob Winner — rwinner@shawmedia.com)
Sycamore running back Austin Culton carries the ball for a gain against Morris during the second quarter Friday night in Sycamore. The Spartans lost, 13-0.

SYCAMORE – For the second straight Friday night, Sycamore’s defense was able to keep an explosive offense largely in check.

But the Spartans offense, which was so impressive through the first four weeks of the season, once again was stymied.

Morris’ running game managed to wear down the Spartans, and Sycamore’s offense couldn’t get anything going in a 13-0 loss to the Redskins.

“We’re definitely shooting ourselves in the foot, and you can’t do that against really good defenses,” Sycamore football coach Joe Ryan said. “We’re still trying to find ways offensively, but you have to give them credit, their defense is pretty good.”

Sycamore (4-2, 1-1 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) forced five turnovers, but was unable to take advantage of good field position. The Spartans managed less than 150 total yards of offense.

After Sycamore was stopped on fourth-and-1 on its first possession, Morris (6-0, 2-0 NI Big 12 East) took six plays to score on its opening drive as Collin Grogan rumbled in for a 2-yard touchdown run.

Sycamore forced two big turnovers in the second quarter, but couldn’t capitalize on either. Jack Dargis picked off a deflected pass to set up Sycamore at the Morris 46-yard line early in the second quarter, and Dion Hooker recovered a fumble by Morris quarterback Zach Cinnamon just before halftime.

The Spartans got yet another turnover when Hooker picked off a pass on Morris’ first possession of the second half, but Sycamore was stopped again.

“We scouted them well, we knew who their weapons are,” Morris coach Alan Thorson said. “[Austin Culton] is a heck of a running back and [Ben Niemann] is a good receiver.”

Morris put together an 11-play scoring drive covering 79 yards, and went up, 13-0, in the third quarter as Cinnamon ran in for a 16-yard touchdown. That was all Morris needed as the Redskins defense bottled up the Spartans in the second half.

Sycamore now has lost two straight games after winning its first four. The Spartans play host to Rochelle in Week 7.

“We’re going to get ready and we’ll practice the way we practice,” Ryan said. “We’ll tighten that up and we’ll be better next week offensively.”

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