Waubonsie Valley scored a victory on Friday night in the "Eola Bowl" over DuPage Valley Conference rival Metea Valley with a 27-19 football victory.
The Warriors (2-3, 2-3) got the scoring started early with a 69-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Westwood to Northern Illinois commitment Charles Robinson on the second play of the game. However, any thoughts that the rout might be on were quickly expunged when Metea Valley answered with 7-play, 45-yard drive that ended in a 41-yard field goal by Sam Barton.
The kick was the longest in Metea Valley history and it was the first of four made field goals for Barton on the day, a school record.
"He's worked so hard. He was kind of forced into being our kicker last year," Metea Valley coach Ben Kleinhans said of the senior specialist. "He keeps track of every kick he does in practice. He has a passion for it. He charts -- you know he can tell you how many field goals he's made and missed since June."
"If you don't prepare, you're not going to be able to make it under the lights," Barton said. "I owe it all to my teammates. They fought their tails off and they drove down the field to get me into positions and I needed to be able to make the kicks for them."
Barton's third and fourth field goals of the night on the last drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half pulled the Mustangs to within 14-12 of Waubonsie Valley. However, Westwood and the Warriors responded in a big way just before the end of the third quarter.
With the Metea Valley defense swarming, Westwood escaped pressure and found Eric Esch standing alone in the corner of the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown to make it 21-12.
"He is our leader on offense and we go as he goes," Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy said of his quarterback. "I thought he made a lot of good decisions."
On Waubonsie Valley's next possession Westwood found Robinson for a 1-yard touchdown on a fade route. And the 6-foot-4 receiver had a hard time picking whether he liked the long touchdown or the jump ball more.
"That's a tough one. Probably the 69-yarder," Robinson said. "Everybody is always thinking I'm slow, but I've got a little bit of speed."
Metea Valley (0-5, 0-5) got a late touchdown from Nolan Falk to make it 27-19, but Waubonsie Valley got the ensuing onside kick and milked the clock for a victory.