HAMMOND | As much as Roy Richards wanted to throw Saturday, the Morton coach wasn't too stubborn to force the issue.
After struggling through the air, Morton went back to the ground on a third-quarter drive that led to the winning score in a 14-7 Governors victory over Lowell.
“We had the passing game wide open all first half, and we couldn’t complete it,” Richards said. “At halftime, we said, ‘OK, we’re going to come out and try one more,’ and we threw a pick. After that, we went back to our bread and butter and pounded the ball. It’s a typical Morton-Lowell game and we ended up on top and I’m proud of our guys.”
Morton trailed 7-6 before a 1-yard Torey Armstrong touchdown late in the third quarter put the Govs in front, and the defense made it stand.
With just over two minutes remaining in the third, Kenneth Coleman broke out for an 18-yard run to the Lowell 4. He reached the 1, setting up Armstrong. Coleman then punched in the two-point conversion.
Lowell appeared to have some momentum on the ensuing drive, recovering from a delay-of-game penalty on Seth Anderson’s 12-yard pass to Ryan Bottos, but Morton came up with the stop when it mattered most, holding the Red Devils at its 18 with a turnover on downs.
Morton then came up with another big stop at its 25, forcing three straight incompletions to take over.
Lowell had one more chance, starting on its 45 with 1:25 remaining but the Governors forced four more incomplete passes to secure the outcome.
“Our defense is good,” Richards said. “All summer it’s been good. We’re a big defense, we’re fast, our (defensive backs) are second to none … if you’re behind and we can make you throw, our chances are great.”
The Governors started fast and went up early. After a 63-yard return on the opening kickoff, Morton ran two plays to take a 6-0 lead on Devin McHenry’s 20-yard run less than a minute into the game. A two-point conversion run was stopped short.
Lowell evened the score in the second quarter on Anderson’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Paul Mauer. The Red Devils went ahead 7-6 on the extra point by Colton Wilkey.