Illinois High School Football News

Sycamore’s Ethan Bode’s pick-six highlights defensive gem against Woodstock

Ethan Bode, Sycamore

WOODSTOCK – Sycamore linebacker Ethan Bode had some very specific requests from his mom before the Spartans’ game at Woodstock on Friday night.

“My mom told me, ‘You better do this, this and this,’ and a pick-six was on the list, so I’m happy I could make her happy,” Bode said. 

His interception and return for a 45-yard touchdown in the second quarter highlighted a dominant defensive performance as the Spartans shut out Woodstock, 41-0.

Sycamore’s defense, which had been strong in the first two games of the season, was impressive from start to finish. 

In the first half, the Spartans (3-0) had five tackles for a loss while forcing the Blue Streaks to punt on their first four possessions of the game. In the second half, the defense recovered two fumbles: one each by Caden O’Donnell and Brandon Coon.

“I thought our defense played outstanding,” Sycamore head coach Joe Ryan said. “They put us in great positions all night with turnovers and big plays, and we know that come November you win games because your defense can keep other teams out of the end zone. They were great tonight.”

Offensively, the Spartans needed only three plays on their first possession of the game to find the end zone as running back Joey Puelo capped the drive with an 11-yard TD.

It was the second quarter, however, when they found their stride. Quarterback Elijah Meier hit Addison Peck with a 13-yard touchdown pass, then had rushing touchdowns from Tyler Curtis and Meier to give the Spartans a 34-0 halftime lead.

“We wanted to get out there early and make a statement, and we were able to do that tonight,” Puelo said. “Also, so much credit goes to the offensive line. When they do a great job, we all do a great job.”

The Spartans showcased a balanced running game. Puelo led the way with 89 yards on 11 carries while Tyler Curtis, Dawson Alexander and Meier also had double-digit yards rushing. 

The passing game clicked, as well, with Meier throwing for 131 yard while completing 11 of 19 attempts with a score.  Meier’s favorite target was Addison Peck with six catches for 56 yards and a TD.

“We still have plenty of things to work on and we need to clean some things up, but we are getting there,” Meier said.

Woodstock (1-2) was led offensively by running back Kaden Sandoval’s 27 yards rushing on eight carries. Quarterback Jackson Lyons was 8-of-14 passing for 30 yards.

“Their defense is stifling, the kids flow to the ball really well,” Woodstock coach Mike Brasile said. “We tried running inside, we tried misdirection, we tried everything we could and we couldn’t get any traction. That is typical Sycamore defense, but I’m proud of our guys for playing hard from start to finish.”