MORRIS – 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 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 score 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.
Sycamore (6-0, 2-0 NI 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.