Physical Naperville Central blows out DeKalb

 
 
Updated 4/9/2021 10:40 PM

DeKalb coach Keith Snyder said coming into Friday's game against Naperville Central that the Redhawks have one of the best front seven he's seen.

They lived up to the reputation, holding the Barbs to 79 rushing yards for the game while their offensive line paved the way for Jaden McGill and the other rushers in a 41-7 win.

 

"We challenged our kids. We wanted to come and play physical football," Naperville Central coach Mike Stine said. "We went to a little bit of a different package we hadn't run before, a two tight-end set. And defensively, our front seven is really good. We go against them every day in practice and they fly to the ball."

The Redhawks (4-0 overall, 2-0 DuPage Valley Conference) scored on all six of their full possessions in the game -- the clock ran out on them on drives at the end of each half.

DeKalb's only touchdown came on a 3-yard touchdown run by Toriano Tate with 5:01 left in the game after Naperville Central got to the running clock.

"I would say we got out-coached, we got outplayed, we got out-programmed," Snyder said. "Tonight they were the much better program than we were. Sometimes that happens in life, you get knocked on the mat. Tonight we got knocked on the mat and we struggled to get up."

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McGill finished with 180 yards on 19 carries in place of starting running back Antonio Torres, who missed Friday's contest. McGill had the offensive performance, which included a second-quarter touchdown, while also playing cornerback.

"I just had to match his energy, match him," McGill said. "He was helping me out with the plays this week so when I came out the line was making the right plays and the right blocks and I was just trying to follow my big guys. They led me to where I needed to go."

The Barbs (2-1, 2-1) had just four rushing yards in the first half. Tate found some success in the second half after one carry for three yards in the first half. He finished with 11 carries for 78 yards.

The Redhawks ran for 306 yards as a team and had 460 total yards in the game. Niko Gordon ran seven times for 62 yards and Elijah Jordan had nine carries for 50 yards and a score.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"They didn't do anything we didn't prepare for, schematically," Snyder said. "But physically they were who we thought they were. They played better up front."

Owen Prucha was 8 for 9 for 121 yards and four touchdowns, including a 29-yard pass to Reggie Fleurima and 37 yards for a score to Matt Wood.

"Our offensive line was coming off the ball and our backs were coming hard, we were rotating three different backs there," Stine said. "They all ran well. And we didn't throw it a ton, but we were able to get it over the top to Reggie once and to Matt."

McGill also played cornerback for the Redhawks, helping keep DeKalb quarterback Trenton Kyler in check. Kyler was 8 for 17 for 94 yards and an interception.

"I was doing a couple plays, get a breather, go back in," McGill said. "It was a lot, but I had fun. It was our first game on a Friday night, they had the marching band. It was great."

Snyder said he expects his team to bounce back as they have in the past, including in a 44-21 loss to Edwardsville last year (the Barbs almost upset Neuqua Valley the next week) and 49-16 to Central last year (they beat Alton the next week.)

"We had games like this happen to us last year," Snyder said. "Edwardsville, we got thumped. Made a little bit of a charge there at the end but they were physical on us. Played these guys and got running clocked last year. Sometimes this happens in life. You pick yourself back up. We responded last year and see how we respond this week."

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