OTTAWA – The DeKalb football team couldn’t hang onto the ball against Ottawa on Friday, and the Barbs’ first-half lead slipped away in a 38-17 loss to the Pirates.
“That first half was one of the best halves I’ve seen from DeKalb football in awhile,” Barbs coach Todd Hallaron said. “That second half completely got away from us.”
Slippery fingers hurt the Barbs (0-4) right off the bat.
Dylan Hottsmith returned the opening kickoff all the way to the Ottawa 24-yard line, but the junior fumbled and Ottawa recovered.
After the Pirates (4-0) drove the ball to the 8-yard line, the Barbs held Ottawa to a field goal.
Dre Brown drove the Barbs down the field on the next drive, rushing for 53 yards on three attempts, and the Barbs finished off the drive with a field goal to tie the score at 3.
Early in the third quarter, Ottawa’s Miguel Hermasillo scored from the 3-yard line on fourth down.
On DeKalb’s next drive, Jack Sauter brought the Barbs back with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jake Carpenter on his second pass of the game, tying the score at 10 with 6:04 remaining in the second quarter.
While Brown ran for 73 yards in the first half, Dylan Hottsmith came up with an 80-yard touchdown run with 3:20 left in the second quarter to give the Barbs a 17-10 lead going into halftime.
It didn’t take long for Ottawa to battle back.
Hermasillo scored his second touchdown on the first drive of the second half, juking multiple De- Kalb defenders to score on a 15-yard run.
Brown fumbled on the 35-yard line and Ottawa quarterback William Hoffman gave the Pirates the lead with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Early in the fourth quarter, DeKalb lost the ball again on a reverse handoff.
Hermasillo scored again, busting through the middle of the DeKalb defense from 13 yards.
The Illinois-commit sealed the game on Ottawa’s next drive by running for a 25-yard touchdown, his fourth of the game, with 3:16 remaining.
Once again, mistakes hurt DeKalb’s hopes of picking up its first win of the season.
“We had fumbles that are back-breakers, and we had penalties that are back-breakers,” Hallaron said. “When you add them both up, it’s pretty tough to end up on top.”