DeKALB — The Waubonsie Valley football team topped DeKalb, 17-10, in a wild second half for both teams.
With the Barbs up 10-9 with just over 4 minutes left in the game, the Warriors hit a deep strike for the game-winning score.
After a DeKalb facemask penalty set the Warriors up at their 34-yard line, Warriors’ coach Tom Baumgartner checked from a run to pass and that pass hit big.
“It’s all the kids, man,” Baumgartner said. “We’re just calling plays and they’re executing them. I’m really proud of them. Our sophomore quarterback has some guts.”
Quarterback Luke Elsea found Tyler Helbing streaking down the sideline. Helbing snatched the ball and outraced everyone to the end zone for a 66-yard score.
“You’re running and you’re like, ‘Please find another gear,’” Helbing said. “I was looking back and seeing the shadows, zig-zagging and just hoping I can make it into the end zone. When you do, it’s the best feeling because you helped your team.”
Helbing finished with four receptions for 100 yards and the score.
The Barbs had a chance to tie the game on their last drive, but the Warriors defense held firm on fourth-and-1 from the 49-yard line with less than 2 minutes left in the game.
From there, the Warriors (2-4, 1-2 DuPage Valley Conference) ran out the clock for their first conference win of the season.
The Barbs had two turnovers in the first half and were called for 11 penalties in the game.
“It wasn’t necessarily the end, but a culmination of mistakes throughout the game,” DeKalb coach Derek Schneeman said. “We made too many mistakes to win the game.”
The Barbs’ (2-4, 0-3) only touchdown of the game was a big momentum-swinging return on the second-half kickoff.
Toriano Tate grabbed the kickoff at the 10-yard line and sprinted to his left. After making a few tacklers miss, there was a wall of blockers for him down the right sideline. Tate busted down the sideline for the 90-yard kickoff return touchdown to put the Barbs up 10-3 to start the second half.
“I thought I stepped out, so I was scared,” Tate said. “I just saw green, so I kept going.”
The Warriors responded with the only sustained touchdown drive of the game. The Warriors rode running back Jacob Razo on the drive. Razo had 12 carries on the 16-play drive, including a 3-yard push up the middle for the score. The Warriors missed the extra point with Tate coming in off the corner to rush the extra-point attempt.
Neither team could get much going in the first half with each team managing only a field goal.
The Warriors took their opening drive down to the 15-yard line, but two incompletions, including a near interception from Tate, forced the field-goal attempt. Kicker John Dardis split the uprights for a 3-0 lead with 9:47 left in the first quarter.
The Barbs were set up with a first and goal on a big 25-yard catch-and-run from Josh Klemm to Tate on their first drive of the game, but penalties on consecutive plays pushed them back. The Barbs had to settle for a Quinn Gilkey field goal to tie the game with 4:28 left in the first quarter.
The Barbs starting kicker, Ethan Tierney, was knocked out of the game on the second play from scrimmage after making a tackle from his defensive back position.