DeKALB – For two weeks, the DeKalb football team stayed with its opponent, playing Hampshire to the final whistle and going toe-to-toe with Sycamore until the Spartans pulled away in the second half.
In a 56-28 win over Ottawa on Friday night, the Barbs left nothing to chance, exploding for 42 points in the first half behind three touchdowns and 163 total yards from junior running back Dre Brown.
“We kind of carried it over from Sycamore what we did offensively,” DeKalb coach Matt Weckler said. “We gave up some big plays again, but fortunately we played good enough to get a win.”
The Barbs (2-2) struck right away with 9:18 left in the first quarter when Brown’s 56-yard run set up Tony Tate’s 4-yard reception from quarterback Jack Sauter.
Six minutes later, Brown ran 26 yards to score his first of three first-half touchdowns to make the score 16-0. Sauter, who rushed for 99 yards in the first half, ran for an 11-yard touchdown.
After Ottawa (1-3) scored on a 14-yard pass from quarterback Carter Krause, DeKalb junior Eriq Torrey returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to give the Barbs a 30-7 lead.
From there, Brown took over, running for a 46-yard touchdown and catching a 15-yard screen pass from Sauter to make the score 42-14 at the half.
Ottawa didn’t go down without mounting a comeback, though.
The Pirates got one back on their first drive of the second half, but Brown ran for his fourth touchdown of the game from 14 yards out to keep the Barbs up by four touchdowns.
Ottawa answered on its next drive when Chase Hill grabbed his second touchdown reception, from 26 yards out.
After the Barbs scored on their first six possessions, the Pirates stopped DeKalb with 49 seconds left in the third quarter and drove all the way to the 22-yard line on their next drive. But Rudy Lopez and Drew Paszotta broke up passes on third and fourth down, respectively.
Ottawa’s comeback stalled there, and Torrey’s 2-yard touchdown with 4:07 left made the score 56-28.
“I like where we are,” Weckler said. “Offensively, we did a very nice job. We improved, and that’s all we can do with a program like ours.”