DeKALB – The farther DeKalb’s offense was pushed back in its own territory only gave running back Dre Brown more space to run.
Brown finished with 257 rushing yards while fighting the flu, and the Barbs (4-3, 1-2 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) ran away with a 40-14 win over Morris (2-5, 0-3 NI Big 12 East) on Friday night.
Brown’s two rushing touchdowns started from within DeKalb’s own 10-yard line, and the junior running back also added a touchdown catch. Senior quarterback Jack Sauter rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Afterward, Barbs coach Matt Weckler credited the team’s preparation.
“We had a really good week of practice,” Weckler said. “I thought the preparation of our guys what was excellent on both offense and defense.”
Morris running back Jake Walker ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Redskins, who were eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2000. It’s only the second time the Redskins have lost five regular-season games since 1977.
Morris opened the scoring with a touchdown run from junior Jake Walker, but the Barbs were quick to answer with their big-play ability. Sauter broke multiple tackles on the way to a 34-yard score, and Brown followed shortly after with a 97-yard touchdown of his own.
Walker ended a strong Morris drive with a touchdown, but like Morris coach Alan Thorson said, things got really bad for the Redskins after that.
Sauter broke free for a 42-yard score shortly before halftime, and after the break, Morris couldn’t find its rhythm offensively. DeKalb sophomore David Long showcased his athleticism on two impressive sacks of Redskins junior quarterback Griffin Sobol.
Brown ran the Morris defense ragged with a touchdown grab and a 94-yard run for another touchdown. Junior running back Eriq Torrey tiptoed along the sideline and dove into the end zone on a 48-yard carry to wrap up the scoring late in the fourth quarter.
DeKalb heads to Yorkville Friday, when the Barbs will look to get that crucial fifth win and become playoff eligible.
“It’s huge,” Brown said. “...but we still want to finish 6-3 and get some momentum going into the playoffs.”