DeKALB – DeKalb football coach Todd Hallaron didn’t think his team was outplayed throughout its 33-27 loss to Hampshire on Friday night.
Whereas Galesburg out-possessed them to take last week’s season-opener, the Barbs were sunk by fourth-quarter mistakes in Friday’s loss.
“That was our game to lose,” Hallaron said. “It felt like we were in control. It just slipped out of our fingers. It was right there.”
Early on, it looked like the Barbs would give Hallaron his first win as DeKalb’s coach.
After DeKalb sophomore running back Dre Brown was bottled up for much of last week’s loss, he was able to break through for a 79-yard touchdown on the second play of the game.
Hampshire’s Tyler Crater came back with a big drive, rushing for 54 yards on seven carries up the middle, finishing it off with a 5-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7 just before the end of the first quarter.
Crater fumbled on the next drive, giving the Barbs the ball just across midfield. On the second play of the drive, DeKalb quarterback Jack Sauter found receiver Drew Paszotta for a 62-yard touchdown.
At the end of the second quarter, Hampshire drove the ball to the 1-yard line. The Barbs were able to stuff Whip-Purs runners twice to force a turnover on downs, and DeKalb went into the half leading 14-7.
Crater left the game late in the first half, but senior Philip LaPointe was able to slide right into his role. LaPointe ran for 34 yards down the middle of the on the opening drive of the half, finishing off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
But once again, Brown drove the Barbs down the field. The sophomore scored on a 63-yard touchdown run, breaking two tackles and juking another Hampshire defender.
Two blunders on punts, though, cost DeKalb the game.
Punter Javier Montalvo couldn’t control a high snap, and he was tackled at the 19-yard line. Quarterback Kyle Anderson the found receiver Patrick Kuefner for a 15-yard touchdown.
On DeKalb’s next drive, Ryan Metzger couldn’t control a punt, and the Whip-Purs took over possession at the 26-yard line. LaPointe was able to score on a 1-yard run on the drive.
“That second one was a killer,” Hallaron said.
On the Barbs’ final drive of regulation, Sauter drove the Barbs down the field with completions to Dylan Hottsmith and Jake Carpenter, and Hottsmith scored on a 3-yard run to tie the score at 27.
Hampshire drove down the field, when Anderson completed a pass to receiver Brendan Waterworth at the 2-yard line as the clock ticked below one minute.
The Barbs drove the Whip-Purs back on the ensuing play, but were penalized for having too many players on the field. Anderson scored from 1 yard out to win the game.
“That last penalty was probably the single deciding factor,” Hallaron said.
Hallaron will have to wait at least until next week, when the Barbs play Sycamore, for his first win.