Waubonsie Valley does its homework
Carson O'Donnell and his Waubonsie Valley teammates did their homework in advance of Friday's regular-season finale with host Metea Valley.
The Warriors passed the final exam with flying colors.
O'Donnell, a senior linebacker, led a great defensive effort that held the Mustangs to 115 yards of total offense, while junior running back Bryce Logan rushed 29 times for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns as Waubonsie snapped a three-game losing streak with a 14-0 win.
The Warriors (6-3, 2-2 DuPage Valley Conference) have some momentum heading into the playoffs after missing the postseason last year.
"It was huge because we really needed to get off that losing streak and go into the playoffs with a lot of momentum," O'Donnell said. "Now we know the best team we can be is what we played like tonight."
The Warriors struggled to get anything going in the early going, coming up empty on their first five possessions even though two of them started in Metea territory.
Metea Valley was intercepted on consecutive passes and Waubonsie turned the ball over on downs after Zack Mutz's interception had given the Warriors the ball at the Metea 13-yard line.
Not to worry. The Mustangs (1-8, 0-4) managed only 1 first down in the first half and didn't threaten to score until their final drive of the game, which ended at the Waubonsie 11.
"(The dominance) came with a lot of film study," O'Donnell said. "We found the weaknesses on their O-line and we knew they were a very run-heavy team.
"So we knew if we brought the heat and we plugged the gaps, with how good our D-line is, they would have to bounce it (outside) and they bounced it right to me and (linebacker) Grayson Griffin.
"That's where we get the tackles in the backfield and the turnovers (happen when) we're hungry for the ball. We hold them up and we start punching it."
Eight of Metea's plays went for negative yardage and only 4 gained more than 6 yards, all of which came in the second half.
By then, Logan had given the Warriors all the cushion they would need. A short punt gave Waubonsie the ball at the Metea 22 and five plays later Logan plunged in from the 1 to open the scoring at the 8:17 mark of the second quarter.
Three plays after that, Metea's C.J. Wilcox was stripped and the Warriors recovered at the Mustangs 43. Logan accounted for all of the yardage on the ensuing possession, which ended with him scooting around the left end for a 13-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 lead.
"It was just everybody seeing the line and what the (Metea) defensive line was doing," Logan said. "They were doing a lot of stunts that we hadn't really seen before throughout the season because a lot of teams play big on big with our O-line so we were able to get our big linemen on their big linemen.
"We worked (on countering) the stunts a lot in practice during the week. If they stunt this way it makes you come back and trap or do this or do that.
"I give the offensive line big kudos tonight. They did a great job."
Logan's big game gave him 1,035 yards on the season, which may not be over any time soon.
"People never expect us to do much," Logan said. "But I think now that we have a 6-3 record and some momentum going in, we'll be successful."