After a 21-9 victory over Dunlap Friday, Morton rides a two-game winning streak for the first time since Oct. 21, 2011.
The football team rode momentum from its upset victory over Limestone to a home victory Friday, giving the home crowd its first home win since the field renovations prior to the 2015 season.
Prior to Friday, Morton’s last home win was Sept. 7, 2013, in a 49-6 drubbing over Chicago Marshall.
“It was an overall team win. We played hard for four quarters. Everybody kind of stepped up on offense, defense and special teams,” first-year head coach Tim Brilley said. “You got to be proud of the effort. It was the first win on the turf, so that’s a great experience for everybody involved.”
The Potters defense allowed one touchdown and a field goal against an explosive Dunlap offense that scored 42 points in its Week 3 win over East Peoria.
Morton has allowed one touchdown in its last eight quarters, something Brilley is ecstatic about.
“I think we’re playing physical. We’re tackling a lot better,” Brilley said. “Right now, we’re feeling really good about ourselves and I think we’re hungry. We probably had our best week of practice after getting that first win, so I think we have a chance to get even better.”
Special teams defense played another key role when Tucker Anderson blocked a punt for the second time in as many weeks.
The blocked punt helped the Potters push their lead to 14-0 in the third quarter on a Jake Zahn 7-yard touchdown run.
“That kind of gave us the ability to play conservative on offense and trust our defense and run as much of the clock as possible,” Brilley said. “Special teams came up big, giving us a short field on a blocked punt.”
Offensively, Dunlap totalled 404 yards, compared to Morton’s 308 yards, but the Potters capitalized when chances were given.
Bradley Getz continued his mid-season success, running for 201 yards on 21 carries to help carry Morton’s offense, including two touchdowns of 58 and 46 yards. Getz has run for 472 yards over his last three games.
“He just was able to find blocks, use them and break tackles,” Brilley said. “Our offensive line has done a great job and does a great job of keeping them honest. I don’t think teams are going to be able to just blitz the house on us because we do have those threats on the outside. We’ve proven that we can get out there. Teams are going to have to pick their poison.”
Nolan Donald made the most of his five carries, gaining 61 yards, including a long 51-yard run.
Donald also led the Potters on defense with eight tackles on the night.
“He’s getting fewer carries, but he still doing a great job on defense,” Brilley said. “He’s still a threat, so we still need to get him in there. You know what you’re going to get when you have Donald, so that’s always a good thing. He’s only a sophomore, so he’s only going to get better.”
Morton’s offense compiled 285 yards on the ground as Anderson helped manage the clock for most of the night. He finished 4-for-11 for 23 yards.
Dunlap cut the score to 14-9 after a Harlan Mitchell 2-yard run midway through the fourth quarter, but Getz put the dagger in the Eagles on the following possession with his second touchdown run of the night.
With three of their final four regular season games left away from Carper Field, the Potters look to get back to .500 at Pekin next week. The Dragons (3-2, 2-1) enter their homecoming game looking to win their second straight game after a 51-6 blowout of East Peoria.
“They have some pretty good speed on the outside,” Brilley said. “We need to limit big plays. We just need to continue to play discipline defense.”