The Riverside-Brookfield Bulldogs got an early indication of what was to come in Friday night’s game against Morris when John Dergo ran for a 93-yard touchdown with 6:39 to go in the first quarter. It was one of five rushing touchdowns for the All-State running back, en route to Morris’ 61-8 shellacking of RB.
In a game of pass versus rush, the Morris Redskins were clear winners as their featured running back torched the Bulldog defense with 234 yards and five touchdowns on 20 carries. Dergo was a factor in almost every aspect of the game. He handled kick-offs, punts, extra points, and even intercepted an RB pass for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Morris had plenty of opportunities to score, in part because of RB’s undersized defense. “We needed to control the football and we didn’t do it,” said RB head coach Otto
Zeman. “We played poorly on both sides of the ball.”
Coming off a four-interception game last week, RB quarterback Chris Pesek didn’t fare much better Friday night, throwing two more. After a few early completions, Pesek was constantly under pressure and the results were a multitude of overthrows, sacks and the two picks.
The highpoint of the night for the Bulldogs came on a drive that started on their own 44-yard line with 58 seconds left in the first half. After consecutive completions of 35 and 12 yards to receiver Oscar Reyes, Pesek connected with Matt Sandrik on a 9-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone. It was an impressive leaping catch by Sandrik, his only reception of the night.
By the end of the first half, RB trailed Morris by a score of 27-8, a considerable, but not insurmountable deficit.
While the end of the first half ended on a positive note, things quickly unraveled for the Bulldogs.
RB attempted an onside kick to open the second half, which was recovered by Morris’ Kyle Komperda, who ran for a 52-yard touchdown.
The Bulldogs’ next play, starting on their own 37-yard line, proved to be a costly mistake. The ball was snapped over Pesek’s head and recovered by Morris on RB’s 14-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Dergo strolled into the end zone for a 1-yard score, his fourth rushing touchdown of the night.
With one minute played in the second half, RB was suddenly down 41-8, stretching Morris’ streak to four consecutive games of scoring 40 points or more.
Zeman summed up his team’s play when he said, “We played okay at the end of the first half, [but] we didn’t come out to play in the second half. The second half was a total disaster.”
RB linebacker Hank Sitkiewicz said, “We weren’t disciplined. We didn’t step up in the second half.” Sitkiewicz finished the night with just two tackles.
Pesek finished 12 of 24 passing with 125 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. After Friday night’s debacle, the junior quarterback now has 982 yards passing for the year, to go along with just nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Those 11 interceptions eclipse Pesek’s total from the regular season last year.
The loss was a tough one for RB to take, as the Bulldogs enter Suburban Prairie (East) Conference play this Saturday at Westmont.