MORRIS – The Morris football team will get its biggest test of the season Friday night when the Redskins host Interstate 8 Conference rival Sycamore. Both teams enter the game with 3-0 records. Sycamore has defeated Kaneland, 12-6, in overtime; Ottawa, 27-6; and Sandwich, 55-0. Morris, meanwhile, has wins of 27-13 over Rochelle, 35-6 over Plano and 35-6 over Ottawa under its belt.
“Sycamore is very good,” Morris coach Alan Thorson said. “They have been our biggest rival in this conference. They are 3-0 and they are playing well.
“They lost a lot of talent from last year, but when you watch them on film, they are the same Sycamore. They are very aggressive on defense and they have one of the top defenses around. We are the highest scoring offense in the conference, and they are one of the top defenses.”
Morris is led by junior quarterback Zach Romak, who has completed 46 of 71 passes for 499 yards and eight touchdowns against five interceptions in the first three games. Romak also figures prominently in the running game, as he has rushed 36 times for 155 yards and two scores. Senior John Landers leads the rushing attack with 236 yards and three TDs on 43 attempts, while sophomore Sam Reddinger has gained 125 yards on 27 carries.
Romak’s top target has been senior Nathan Jepson, who has caught 14 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Myles Johnston has eight catches for 157 yards and 2 TDs. Junior Aidan Romak, Zach’s twin, has eight catches for 50 yards and a score.
Defensively, senior Cody Bledsoe leads the way for Morris with 28 tackles, while senior Tyler Davis has four sacks and senior Cam Anderson has three interceptions. Thorson expects the Spartans to show a varied offensive attack.
“The last couple of years, when Kevin Crandall came from Rochelle to join the Sycamore coaching staff, they have run the wing-T like Crandall ran in Rochelle,” Thorson said. “They are very good at it, and they will mix things up. They will run the wing-T, then come out in a five-wide spread. It can create some matchup problems, so we are going to have to be ready for anything.”
Thorson expects a typical, hard-fought Morris-Sycamore game.
“If you look at the history, I think we are 5-5 in the last 10 games we have played with Sycamore,” he said. “We don’t overlook our last two games, but this is probably for the conference championship.
“There are no playoffs this year, so I expect this game to be like a playoff game. Our kids are excited for it, just as I am sure their kids are excited for it.”