ROCHELLE – Sycamore quarterback Devin Mottet put up 311 yards of total offense, and Sycamore passed its most difficult test since Week 1 in a 42-33 road win over Rochelle on Friday.
Behind 284 total rushing yards, including 145 from Riley Hurley, the Spartans (7-0 overall, 3-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) remained undefeated heading into next week’s game with 7-0 Kaneland.
“This is one of our toughest tests of the season this year,” Mottet said. “They’re tough. They really test you defensively. I think our defense did a great job tonight. [The offensive output] is a huge testament to the offensive line, all the work they put in in the offseason.”
Mottet’s big day started right away, when he ran for 23 yards and passed for 17 before Hurley pounded in a three-yard touchdown.
The Hubs (5-2, 1-2 NI Big 12 East) responded, running 10 times on the drive before Evan White scored to make the score 7-6.
Sycamore’s passing game was a threat throughout, and Ben Niemann caught two passes for 62 yards on the Spartans’ first drive of the second quarter, including a 19-yard touchdown.
Once again, the Hubs responded with their bruising rushing attack, and Tommy Sprowl evened the score with an eight-yard run with 1:33 left in the half.
But the touchdown left just enough time for the Spartans to drive down the field, with Mottet completing three passes for 62 yards on a drive that ended in a Jake Swick touchdown reception just before the end of the half to make the score 21-14.
After forcing a turnover on downs, Mottet ran twice for 32 yards before Hurley ran for his second of three touchdowns to open the half.
The Hubs needed only two plays to respond with a 69-yard rushing touchdown from Evan White, but Mottet quickly quelled the celebrations with a 48-yard run, which set up his 27-yard touchdown scamper.
The teams traded touchdowns to make the score 42-27.
The Hubs threatened to make it a one-possession game when they scored with 3:27 remaining, but the two-point conversion was no good, allowing Sycamore to run out the clock.
“They just keep pounding you and pounding you, but you’ve just got to read your keys and stay disciplined,” said Niemann, who played safety and racked up 112 receiving yards. “Rochelle’s known for their physicality, and we matched their physicality all game, and that was really good.”