DeKALB – The way DeKalb quarterback Derek Kyler ran the ball on the Barbs' first play from scrimmage Friday night, it looked like he had waited an extra two hours to get that chance.
That's because he had. The season-opening game between DeKalb and Vernon Hills was delayed around two hours due to the lightning in the area, which was accompanied by heavy rains.
The Barbs didn't look rusty at all in a 33-14 win, which started off with a Kyler 43-yard touchdown run after DeKalb received the opening kickoff – the coin toss was held in the DeKalb High fieldhouse during the long delay to save time.
"It was crazy. We were all super pumped," The DeKalb sophomore said of his run. "We just, we were all hyped. We were getting real excited in the locker room. It was all a team effort."
Vernon Hills (0-1) would answer Kyler's score with a 17-yard touchdown catch by Andres Salazar on the Cougars' first possession, but after that it was all Barbs (1-0) in a game that ended right after midnight Saturday morning.
Senior tailback Dre Brown outdid Kyler, running 83 yards for a score on DeKalb's next drive. Later in the first quarter when the Barbs had the ball at the Cougars 1-yard line, Kyler faked a handoff to Brown.
The Vernon Hills defense suffocated him, but the problem was he didn't have the ball. Kyler hit a wide open Eriq Torrey for a touchdown.
"It helps having Dre Brown in the backfield, they bite on him pretty hard," Kyler said. "And then the next guy up is my pitch guy. Eriq was wide open so I just flipped it out to him."
DeKalb would close out the half with a 28-yard leaping touchdown catch by Rudy Lopez, and a 15-yard touchdown catch by Luke Davis.
All night long, the DeKalb offensive line provided huge running holes for Kyler and the DeKalb backs.
Brown led the team with 169 yards, despite the Vernon Hills defense keying on him all night. Kyler had 63 yards rushing while Tony Tate finished with 51 yards on the ground.
"I think our offensive line did a pretty good job coming together, especially in the first half. And then we just had those three guys, we have threats all over," DeKalb coach Matt Weckler said. "They tried taking Dre away early, and Kyler made a good run at the very beginning that I think opened it up for all of the backs that are there, we're able to go right and left."