DeKalb keeps Metea Valley on the ropes

 
By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/8/2018 12:04 AM
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DeKalb came to Metea Valley on Friday night and went home a 34-6 winner. However, the evening had started out well for the host Mustangs, something that hadn't happened during the season's first two games.

The Barbs (3-0), of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division, prepared to punt with just less than six minutes left in the first quarter. Metea's Julian Wlodarczyk blocked and teammate Nolan Falk recovered the punt.

That put their team on the DeKalb 40-yard line.

Colin Wilcox ran for 2 yards on the first play, then quarterback Patrick Straub connected to Amarian Wilborn for a 32-yard pass that advanced Metea to the Barbs 6. Wilcox ran for 2 more yards and Wlodarczyk, a receiver on offense, re-entered the picture.

He lined up to take the snap on a Wildcat play and found the end zone from the 4 to give the Mustangs their first lead and first points of the season, 6-0.

"(The Wildcat play) was there all summer," said Metea coach Ben Kleinhans. "When you have the ball in the red zone, you have to take advantage of the opportunity, and when you hand the ball off to Julian good things will happen."

The Mustangs (0-3) couldn't duplicate that success the rest of the evening. Although the Barbs led just 17-6 at halftime, DeKalb continued its unanswered points streak into the second half.

At halftime the Barbs led in total offensive yards just 134-113. The Metea coach said he thought his team was in the game.

"We had momentum and had gotten the first score. DeKalb, though, converted on some long third downs," Kleinhans said.

He added the key for Metea to earn success during the remainder of the season is to build momentum on a consistent basis.

"The offense has to stack multiple first downs and they have to learn to execute the big play and sustain drives," Kleinhans said. "The defense has to do better on third downs."

The top highlight on special teams in the second half for Metea was Wilcox's 42-yard kickoff return after DeKalb scored to make it 24-6.

The Mustangs return to DuPage Valley Conference this Friday at Naperville North.

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