Morris blanks Dundee-Crown

 
By Cameron LaFerle
claferle@dailyherald.com
Updated 9/12/2014 11:55 PM

MORRIS -- With the rain coming down and temperatures in the 40s, the game being played between Dundee-Crown and host Morris felt like it was in the middle of October, not the second week of September.

But like those late-season games where offenses struggle and defenses shine, the Redskins held the Chargers to less than 50 yards of total offense in a hard-fought and soggy 27-0 nonconference win Friday night.

 

The Redskins' offense got to work early thanks to a squib kick and recovery on the first kickoff of the game, but it was not until their second drive of the game when they would find the end zone.

With the wind and rain knocking most of the balls out of the sky when they went to the air on their first drive, the Redskins decided to keep it on the ground and punched it through with a quarterback sneak from Griffin Sobol to go up 7-0 early.

The next drive for Morris would be more of the same, with a lone screen pass to start the drive and 10 more runs to score once again just before the first quarter ended to push the lead to 13-0 and D-C still looking for answers, though it was not all good news for Morris.

Earlier on the second touchdown drive, lead running back Jake Walker came up limping and barely got to the sideline before going down holding his ankle, a nagging injury for the senior according to head coach Alan Thorson, though one that shouldn't keep him out long.

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"It's another ankle sprain, the same one that he hurt in week one," Thorson said. "In the slippery conditions he rolled it again but the training staff said that he should be OK. You hate to see a kid go down but thankfully another back stepped up for us."

That other back was Keegan Sobol, younger brother of Griffin and center of the offense after Walker went down. Keegan scored on the 2-yard run on the second drive and kept running well after that, eventually finishing with 171 yards on the ground and earning praise from his coach.

"Keegan is a really physical, ground and pound running back for us," Thorson said. "He's only a sophomore but he plays like he's a three-year varsity starter. We were happy for him and all of the other guys that stepped up for us."

"I told him to hold on to the ball," Griffin said with a laugh about his brother.

Keegan would hold on and the Redskins would rush for a total of 360 yards and get 400 total, with their last two touchdowns coming from a 27-yard pass from Griffin to Tommy Balentine and a 9-yard run by Joey Webb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Redskins secured the win over the Chargers (2-1), who, without their leading rusher in Malik Dunner and second leading rusher Caleb Parson limited to just 5 plays, could only muster a single yard on the ground against a Morris defense that seemed to be playing in the backfield all night long.

Dundee-Crown (2-1) did not have an extended drive of more than 4 plays until the third quarter, failing to get a first down in the first half at all and punting the ball away 4 times in 4 possessions. The Chargers also had a pair of holding penalties that wiped away positive yardage and backed them up even further.

"The most disciplined team won tonight," D-C coach Mike Steinhaus said. "We came out right away and had a couple of plays for a few yards but two holding penalties right away and we're backed up to second-and-20. We talked all week that the most disciplined and focused team was going to win, and we were not disciplined. We got out-toughed."

Quarterback Jeff Atherton would only throw for 43 yards on 8 completions, thrown to six different receivers, and an interception to lead the attack through the air for D-C, and sophomore Devin Johnson was a bright spot as well, rushing for 12 yards on 2 carries in his first varsity action.

"We didn't put him in a position for us to be successful, but (Atherton) did a great job leading us tonight, we just have to get better," Steinhaus said. "We brought him up because we kind of knew our running backs were down. He worked his butt off for us this week and we're proud of him."

The final score could have been worse if Dundee-Crown had not won the turnover battle, with Joey Flores picking off a pass in the end zone as Morris threatened to score, and Tommy Koniewicz picking up a fumble as Redskins' running back Matt Feiden was stripped at the goal line.

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