EAST PEORIA — Seven touchdowns helped Morton secure its first playoff spot in six seasons Friday night at EastSide Centre.
Scoring all seven of their TDs before halftime, the visiting Potters jumped on East Peoria early and never let up in rolling to a 49-14 Mid-Illini Conference victory.
It took Morton (6-1, 4-1) just eight plays and two minutes to march 83 yards on the first possession of the game, and less than 20 minutes to put a running clock in motion.
Led by Bradley Getz, who accounted for four touchdowns and 170 of his team's 263 yards, the Potters pushed their way into the postseason for the first time since 2011.
“The biggest thing for us was to come in here and find a way to get to six wins and make sure we’re guaranteed to be in the playoffs,” Morton coach Tim Brilley said. “We wanted to play a cleaner game with less mental errors. I think we did that.”
Trailing 21-0 after a quarter, the Raiders (2-5, 1-4) cut into the Morton lead on the first play of the second when Braden Lowery took a reception from QB Tristen Westbay 11 yards through the Potters defense to make it 21-6.
But a 78-yard kickoff return by Getz moments later put the momentum right back on Morton's side, while three interceptions on three possessions helped the Potters stretch their lead to 49-6 with 4:08 to play in the half.
“He does it all,” Brilley said of Getz. “He doesn’t always get the ball, but he’s always willing to do whatever it takes to win. He’s done an outstanding job all year.”
Nolan Donald, who threw for a touchdown and ran for three more, set the running clock in motion with a 36-yard keeper up the gut of the EP defense.
Luke Huff helped the Raiders pull one back on the first possession of the second half with a 12-yard run down the left side that set the final score. Huff finished the game with a team-high 67 rushing yards on six carries.
Westbay threw for 130 yards on 11-of-22 passing for EP.
“I thought we did some pretty nice things with the passing game, worked on some things with the running game,” EP coach Erik Black said. “It’s a process, and our kids keep working hard, and that’s all we ask them to do.”
Josh Wessler can be reached at 686-3214 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @joshwessler