By Cory Dann
For the Herald
MORRISON, Ill. —
The Morrison Mustangs’ defense came up big after a short field got them behind on homecoming night.
The visiting Riverdale Rams blocked a punt deep in Mustang territory midway through the first quarter to set up a 1-yard plunge by Wyatt Klavon to give the Rams their only lead of the game, 6-0.
“This its what we told the kids, we play pretty good defense when we get our heads up and tackle with our shoulders,” Morrison head coach Cory Bielema said of his defense’s performance in a 25-6 victory.
Morrison wasted little time taking control of the game with a stingy defense and a very balanced offensive attack. The Mustangs scored on three straight offensive possessions to take an 18-6 lead into halftime with an Alex Volckmann 1-yard run and two Matt Wilkens to Danny Willis touchdown passes.
“We’ve been going over in practice trying to get the passing game going,” Bielema said. “The past couple of weeks we’ve gotten there and hopefully we can get to a point where our offense is balanced both run and pass.”
Quarterback Matt Wilkens capped off the Mustang scoring with 1:37 to go in the third quarter as he called his own number and pushed it in from 1-yard out to complete the scoring for the night as Morrison won 25-6. With the win the Mustangs’ record climbed to 4-3 on the season in the Big Rivers Conference. The Rams fall to 0-7.
Wilkens had a big night behind center as he went 12 for 18 with 182 yards passing and two touchdowns through the air and another score on the ground. The running back tandem of Andrew Connelly and Danny Willis got things moving on the ground. Connelly accounted for 117 yards on 19 carries and Willis added 115 yards on 13 carries and another 77 receiving and 2 touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball the Mustangs limited Riverdale to just 132 yards of offense and one completed pass. The defense also added a fumble recovery and an interception.
“The defense did step up and played better and carried us until we got things rolling on offense,” Bielema said.
Next week the Mustangs travel to Fulton in the Battle for the Wooden Shoe.
MORRISON 25, RIVERDALE 6
Riverdale 6 0 0 0 — 6
Morrison 6 12 7 0 — 25
R — Wyatt Klavon 1 run (run failed), 4:29
M — Alex Volckmann 1 run (run failed), 1:35
M — Danny Willis 4 pass from Matt Wilkens (run failed), 5:49
M — Willis 15 pass from Wilkens (pass failed), 0:29
M — Wilkens 1 run (Willis kick), 1:37
RUSHING — Riverdale, Terry White 23-108, TJ Lowe 4-21, Wyatt Klavon 6-minus-10, Nate Rocker 4-7; Morrison, Andrew Connelly 19-117, Danny Willis 13-115, Alex Volckmann 9-19, Andy Bird 5-20, Matt Wilkens 7-minus-11, Joel Brackemeyer 2-3, Mason Sitzmore 1-minus-1.
PASSING — Riverdale, Klavon 1-9-1, 6 yards ; Morrison, Wilkens 12-18 182 yards 2-TD
RECEIVING — Riverdale, Austin Coers 1-6; Morrison, Willis 5-77, Volckmann 4-56, Travis Keller 3-49.