MANTENO — It didn't look good for the Morris football team in the early going Friday night.
But, after spotting Manteno a 13-0 lead, the Redskins found their stride and cruised to a 58-25 victory.
The Redskns overcame the early deficit to take a 21-19 at halftime, then scored 37 unanswered points in the second half before Manteno close the scoring with a late touchdown.
The ground game was overpowering for Morris (1-1) as the Redskins rushed for a whopping 516 yards and finished with 591 total yards.
Junior John Landers was the leading ground gainer for the Redskins, amassing 234 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Senior quarterback Zach Reddinger ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and also completed 7 of 11 passes for 75 yards and a pair of TDs. Brandon Phelps chipped in with 87 rushing yards and two TDs on 13 carries, while Cole Laurie had three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown as well as returning a punt 70 yards for a TD. Nolan Swartz had 35 yards and a touchdown receiving.
"We had a sloppy start," Morris coach Alan Thorson said. "We had some coverage breakdowns early, but our defense played a much better game in the second half, forcing three turnovers.
"Our offense was very good tonight. I thought our offensive line did a great job, especially getting us more than 500 yards rushing. Reddinger was good again leading the offense, and Landers looked great. Laurie continues to make plays, and it was nice to see us score on special teams."
Phelps led the Redskins' defense with 12 tackles and also forced a fumble, while Tyler Davis and Devin Bailey each recovered a fumble and Zach Romak added an interception for Morris, which hosts Rochelle on Friday to open Interstate Eight Conference play.