Sycamore's improved defense may have clinched a playoff spot for the Aviators in a 17-10 upset of Mason Friday night.
Mason (6-4) came in ranked third in the most recent computer rankings while Sycamore (6-4) was sixth in the very tough Division I, Region 4. Mason was sure of a playoff spot while Sycamore was on the bubble.
Sycamore's Khalis Hicks had two interceptions and credited coach Scott Dattilo for preparing the defense.
“Coach put us in the right spot to win,” Hicks said. “Defense started playing better in Fairfield game last week and Coach challenged us this week to really step up.”
LISTEN: The TriStateFootball crew chats with Sycamore defensive back Khalis Hicks.
Sycamore's star running back, Ra’Von Bonner, ran 26 times for 160 yards and one touchdown. Bonner finished his senior season with 1,690 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns.
Mason running back Matt Sora had 136 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown.
Sycamore got on the board in the first quarter when kicker Jacob Hasslebeck nailed a 32-yard field goal. A botched punt attempt by Mason gave Sycamore the ball back at the Comets' 20-yard line and Illinois-commit Bonner ran it in from there.
But Mason kicker Andrew Hauer hit a 45-yard field goal, and Sora's 8-yard TD run sent the teams into the halftime locker room tied at 10 apiece.
After a scoreless third quarter, Sycamore went ahead on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Malek to Myron Williams with 11:41 left. The defenses held up for the rest of the game.
Sycamore finished with a 5-2 GMC record while Mason fell to 4-3 in the GMC.
Both teams should find out late Saturday or early Sunday who they play in the Division I, Region 4 playoffs, which begin next week.