Barbs defeat Metea Valley, end season on high note

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DeKALB – The Barbs put a positive spin on a losing season Friday night by beating Metea Valley 25-10 at home in the final game of the year.

DeKalb snapped a four-game losing streak Friday night and ended the season with a 3-6 record. The Barbs went 2-4 in DuPage Valley Conference play. DeKalb Coach Derek Schneeman was happy the team’s seniors got a win in their final Friday night under the home field lights but was still frustrated by the Barbs’ mistakes.

“I’m glad we came out here and got it done. I’m really proud of my guys. I think we faced a lot of adversity, a lot of self-inflicted errors and a lot of penalties. But overall, I’m really proud of how we battled through all that and did what we needed to do to get a win tonight,” Schneeman said. “I’m really proud of my seniors. We had some kids that really stepped up and we gutted one out.”

Travis Moore put the game to bed for the Barbs with a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter. A 3-yard touchdown run with 3:34 seconds left in the game, and a 30-yard rushing touchdown with a 1:20 remaining turned what had been a two-point game into a two possession affair.

Metea Valley (0-9, 0-6) tried tightening the score in the final minute, but Daniel Roman-Johnson sealed the game for the Barbs by intercepting a pass from Metea Valley quarterback Lucas Van Lerah with 26 seconds left.

Offenses for both teams stumbled out the gate, and maintaining possession became the key to the game. Lerah was picked off three times, twice in the second half, but it was Barbs receiver Davon Grant who started the turnover trend moments into the game.

Grant fumbled the ball after a catch near midfield on the first play of the game. Matea Valley recovered, but on their ensuing drive, Mustangs quarterback Lucas Van Vlerah was picked off by Billy Miller in the end zone.

Mustangs head coach John Parpet said that turnover was a key factor in the game.

“You hate to say that, but it was. I mean, we turned the ball over down in the end zone, that was big,” Parpet said.

That turnover led to the Barbs’ first touchdown of the evening. After DeKalb converted a fourth-and-inches at their own 43-yard line, Barbs running back Talen Tate carried the ball 57 yards for a touchdown five minutes into the first quarter. The subsequent point-after attempt was unsuccessful.

After Tate’s early touchdown, the Barbs would not return to the end zone for nearly two full quarters. However, when they did it was Tate who brought them back. Halfway through the third quarter, Tate rushed 3 yards to put the Barbs up 12-10 over the Mustangs.

“The second half we found a lot more consistency. We started to put drives together, finally punched a couple in, and I think once we got that first one [second half touchdown], got the lead back, that gave us a little bit more momentum to keep going,” Schneeman said.

The Mustangs put up a fight in DeKalb Friday night, and led the game heading into halftime, but their efforts weren’t enough to secure the victory.

A 27-yard field goal kicked by Nicolas Carrier with 2:55 left in the first quarter earned the Aurora-based school three points with 2:55 left in the first quarter. Then, 5½ minutes later, senior Hani Omar gave the Mustangs a 10-6 lead with 9:33 seconds left in the second quarter with a 2-yard carry for a touchdown.

Parpet consoled his team after their ninth consecutive loss, hugging and giving a positive message to many of the teams’ senior players.

“It was a great effort. We come out – we’ve got a lot of guys banged up, and it’s been like that all year – and guys just continue to step up and make plays. Guys were making plays. That’s our backup quarterback, those are our backup receivers and they just continue to play hard,” Parpet said. “It’s been like that all year, but they just answered the bell. Hey, week 9, you’re not playing for anything except your pride.”