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Neuqua Valley starts fast, tops DeKalb

NAPERVILLE - Neuqua Valley head coach Bill Ellinghaus said that he wanted his team to start fast. The Wildcats did just that, scoring on their first drive of the game en route to a 34-13 victory over the DeKalb Barbs to get to 8-0 on the season.

“[Mark Mennecke] did a great job of seeing what they were doing,” Ellinghaus said. “The corner went inside and we hit the outside guy on a go route. Miles [Miskel] did a great job of concentrating and catching the football while getting in the end zone.”

Mennecke threw for a lot of chunk plays, going 7-for-15 for 153 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Wildcats run game set up a lot for the air assault. Junior running back Jaden McGee led the ground game, rushing 17 times for 96 yards and one touchdown.

“I love my line,” McGee said. “When we get those linebackers and defensive backs to bite in, that’s when we pop them outside.”

Just when DeKalb was starting to gain momentum in the second quarter after a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Adrien McVicar cut the Wildcats lead down to seven, the Barbs (2-6, 0-5 DVC) let up a 90-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff. Barbs coach Derek Schneeman said that composure and cutting down mental errors will be a talking point in practice next week.

“We have to do a better job of holding guys accountable,” Schneeman said. “It’s kind of the same story, different week. We had some things rolling, did a lot of nice things, but we got in our own way too many times.”

One of those nice things that Schneeman mentioned was the night that junior wide receiver Ethan McCarter had. McCarter snagged nine catches for 117 yards on the night.

“He’s having a great season,” Schneeman said. “We wanted to get him and [Toriano] Tate involved early. We probably threw the ball more times than we would have liked, but that was based on what they were giving us.”

DeKalb will play next at Waubonsie Valley High School on Friday at 6 p.m. Neuqua Valley will host Naperville North High School on Friday at 7 p.m.