AURORA – A two-point conversion attempt, an onside kick, a late drive to win it.
The DeKalb football team faced it all Saturday against Metea Valley and turned away enough of it for a 31-30 win, its first victory in DuPage Valley Conference play.
"When we get it, no matter the fashion, whether it's 50-49, 31-30 or 3-0, if we go 1-0 we're going to be satisfied, we're going to look at film, and we're going to see where we can improve," DeKalb coach Keith Snyder said.
In a game that was suspended Friday night tied at 14 at halftime, the Barbs (3-2 overall, 1-1 conference) took a 31-24 lead with 3:44 left. On the eight play drive, Jalon Redmond got the last seven carries. And the first play of the drive, a 23 yard screen from Trenton Kyler to Avery Medina, was set up on a play-action Redmond.
"We were just trying to punch it in, get the lead, come out with the victory," Redmond said. "It's all we could do."
But the Mustangs (1-4, 0-2) answered back in three plays when quarterback Logan Frederick found Colin Wilcox past the defense on a third and 8 for a 60 yard score.
After initially lining up for an extra point, the Mustangs called a timeout and came back up with their offense to go for two.
The Barbs, as they had all day, applied pressure on Frederick, and Michael Clayton came through the line and leveled Frederick, who threw the ball away as he was being hit.
Snyder said he told his players during the timeout to do their jobs.
"Do your 1/11th to the best of your ability," Snyder said. "That's it. Nothing special. Do what you're coached to do and you'll be alright."
The Mustangs came back out and recovered the onside kick, a choppy kick recovered by Will Hopkins just past midfield and taken to the 44.
Redmond, playing nickleback on the final drive, said the team came out motivated on defense after the recovery.
"I thought it wasn't 10 yards, but it is what it is so we just kept playing. We can't control that," Redmond said. "And I was in on nickle, so coach said we can't control that, just go get the ball back."
After the Mustangs picked up 13 on the first play, the defense forced two Incompletions, the first with pressure brought by Redmond and Brayten Wilkerson. On third and 10, Frederick found John Flynn in space, but Cameron Grays made the tackle 1-on-1 to limit the gain to 3.
The fourth down pass went incomplete and the Barbs ran out the clock to win th game.
"We needed pressure," Snyder said. "We were struggling with their quick pass game all afternoon, the last two days. ... Their kids played really well and fought their tails off. Sometimes we responded well and sometimes we need to respond better."
DeKalb drove down the field to start play in the second half, but on a third and goal from the 8, Kyler was intercepted, then the Mustangs need just five plays to score on a 1-yard plunge by Elijah Wright on a drive set up by a 50-yard pass to Wilcox.
The Barbs tied it on a 2-yard run by Trenton McCollum. The Barbs forced a three and out then git a 32-yard field goal by Ethan Tierney, answered on the next Metea drive by a 25-yarder from Ryan Bingham to tie the game at 24.
Redmond scored his touchdown on the next drive and the Barbs didn't trail again.
"I thought he started running real well the end of the first half last night," Snyder said. "It starts with the offensive line. The o-line taking coaching, leaning. We were able to look at film, get ready for this morning. They opened some holes, Jalon hit them and moved the chains."
By the numbers: Redmond finished with 30 carries for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Kyler threw for 99 yards but also had two interceptions, one in each half.
Beyond the stats: The Barbs snapped a two-game losing streak with the win.
They said it: "We didn't come out strong Friday, so Saturday coach sent a text, said fix your mistakes, we have a second chance. We don't get too much of that, Make use of it," Redmond said. "I feel like we came out strong. They have a hell of a defense, pardon my French, but we came out strong. We didn't play our best game but we came out on top."
Up next: The Barbs host Waubonsie Valley while Metea Valley heads to Naperville North.