DeKalb gives up momentum on safety, falls at Metea Valley

AURORA – John Flynn has a penchant for the spectacular.

The Metea Valley wideout, with DeKalb seemingly having all the momentum with three straight touchdowns in the schools’ DuPage Valley Conference opener Friday night, hauled in a one-handed Logan Frederick pass and scooted 76 yards for an apparent game-tying touchdown.

But the dramatics of the Mustangs’ eventual 29-21 victory to open DVC football action was far from certain.

“It was a big play at a big time,” DeKalb coach Derek Schneeman said of Flynn.

DeKalb two-way standout Toriano Tate preserved the Barbs’ tenuous 21-20 lead with 5:56 to play by swatting away the PAT kick.

Metea Valley (2-2, 1-0 DVC) subsequently pinned DeKalb deep in its own end on the ensuing kickoff.

Three plays later, DeKalb quarterback Adrien McVicar, who scored all three touchdowns on keepers of various hues for the Barbs (2-2, 0-1), tried to extricate the DeKalb plight with an end-zone punt.

The snap eluded him, however, and the ball bled over the end line in a tantalizing manner.

The safety reversed the Mustangs’ 1-point deficit, and Flynn returned the ensuing free kick 39 yards into DeKalb territory.

On third-and-short, Metea Valley running back Ayaan Abrar, who opened the frenzied game with two 1-yard plunges in the first half, burst 30 yards to the Barbs’ 2-yard line.

Metea Valley coach John Parpet considered icing the ball with kneel downs to force Schneeman to expend his final two timeouts but instead instructed Abrar to secure the score.

“The risk-reward wasn’t worth it,” Parpet said. “Overall, it was just a great game.”

DeKalb had just under 100 seconds to forge a touchdown and two-point conversion to force overtime, but Tyler Sondker iced the game with an interception.

The first half was difficult for DeKalb, which failed to get a first down, lost two fumbles and had a punt blocked.

But Metea Valley was only up 14-0 at the break.

“We should have been up way more than two touchdowns at halftime,” Flynn said. “We need to capitalize on those opportunities.”

“They kicked our [butts] in the first half,” McVicar said.

But DeKalb, which turned two Metea Valley lost fumbles into 14 points, took a 21-14 lead on the three McVicar running scores.

“We got back to doing what we do,” Schneeman said.

“It’s tough,” McVicar said. “To be down 14-0 at halftime, take a 21-14 lead and then lose the game.”

On the longest play from scrimmage, Flynn hauled in the Frederick throw with his left hand stretched to the limit.

“It may have looked like a tough play,” Flynn said, “but me and [fellow receiver] Jalen [Johnson] pride ourselves on making those kind of plays.”