Metea Valley finds right formula to defeat Waubonsie Valley
Metea Valley may just be building an impressive winning formula on the field this fall, what with a solid defense and an offense that may not always be pretty but still produces.
Friday night at rival Waubonsie Valley, the Mustangs offense managed just 7 points in the first half, but there was no need to worry as the defense held the hosts to 6 points in the half and then recorded several three-and-outs in the second half. The end result was a 24-13 victory by the Mustangs, now 3-2 on the year and 2-0 in the DVC.
"The defense has been really strong all year, but tonight they really stood up," said Mustangs quarterback Logan Frederick, who opened the game's scoring with a pretty 18-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Johnson after a scoreless first quarter. "This was a like a playoff game for us, and it was awesome to beat our rivals."
After the defenses on both sides had the better of play in the first half, the Mustangs built a 17-6 lead after three quarters as Earl Hightower got the first of his two 1-yard touchdown runs and kicker Vince Wronski added a 40-yard field goal. The lead grew to 24-6 in the fourth quarter as the visitors' defense stayed strong and Frederick's 26-yard connection with John Flynn down to the 1-yard line set up another Hightower rushing score.
"Our defense has played well all year long and tonight we had big plays on special teams and big plays in the passing game," Mustangs coach Paul Parpet said. "I'm real proud of the way we played."
Linebacker Dominic Rinaldi and the entire Metea Valley defensive line played well, making it difficult for the Warriors to run the ball, while quarterback Luke Elsea was pressured throughout the night. Elsea did pass for 235 yards and scores to Tyler Helbing and Amir Spikener, but he was 20 of 41 and was intercepted by Mustangs lineman Tivon Burns on a pass that was tipped at the line early in the first quarter with the score 17-6.
Burns was still smiling after the game because of his team's play on defense and his pick.
"I saw the ball, secured it and now I might be up there with the team leaders in interceptions," he joked. "But the main thing was we had a lot, a lot, lot of three-and-outs."
The Warriors, who have been hit hard by injuries of late, dropped to 1-4 on the year. Starting tailback Jabron Lee was on crutches on the sidelines.
"We have all the confidence in the world in our defense," said Warriors coach Tom Baumgartner, who was not shy about attempting to convert fourth-down plays in the game. "Their kids made plays and we just didn't execute well enough. But credit goes to them. They played well."