OTTAWA – Without its two most dominant two-way players, the Sycamore football team still was unstoppable on both sides of the ball in Friday night’s 34-0 win over Ottawa.
Without Dion Hooker, who suffered an injury last week, and Ben Niemann, who sprained his ankle on the second drive of the game, the Spartans (5-0) shut out their opponent for the second straight week and put up five touchdowns in the first 29 minutes of the game.
“Football is such a team game and, yeah, we have a couple of players that defenses really game plan for,” Spartans senior running back Riley Hurley said. “But I think as long as we play as a team, and we really take care of our responsibilities, it showed tonight, we still get the job done.”
Without Hooker, Hurley took the bulk of the carries and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter after setting himself up with an 18-yard run.
On its first drive, Ottawa (1-4) drove all the way to the 17-yard line, but on fourth down, Sycamore safety Michael Stinnett intercepted quarterback Carter Krause at the 10 and weaved his way all the way to the end zone to give the Spartans a 14-0 lead.
“[The interception] really shifted the energy; it really got them down,” Stinnett said. “The defense was really getting pressured last week and this week because we were the lower point the first three games, so we knew we needed to tighten up and we did it.”
The Sycamore defense forced two straight three-and-outs at the end of the second quarter, and quarterback Devin Mottet ran for a 31-yard touchdown on fourth-and-5 with 3:54 left in the half. Hurley pounded in another touchdown just before time expired.
Hurley ran in from four yards out for his third touchdown of the day, and the Spartans extended their shutout streak to 10 quarters.
“I looked at our guys, and I told them, ‘We’re not a one-man team, and you can’t be,’ ” Sycamore coach Joe Ryan said. “Next guy in has got to be ready to go, and I thought we did some really good things tonight.”