LaSALLE – The DeKalb Barbs punched their playoff ticket with a 50-8 rout of the LaSalle-Peru Cavaliers.
The Barbs scored on big plays in every first half possession to run the Cavaliers out of their own stadium.
“We made a couple of adjustments a couple weeks ago and it’s just been working for us,” DeKalb coach Matt Weckler said. “Our running backs are hitting the hole faster and our offensive line is doing a great job. When that’s happens I think we’re pretty hard to stop.”
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Jaylen Hobson broke away from the Cavaliers for a 70-yard run on the Barbs first possession of the game to set the tone for the Barbs’ offense.
“Having a big play right away really made me think that this was going to be our game,” Hobson said. We were going to run it from there on out and nothing was going to stop us.”
Hobson also broke off a 14-yard touchdown run in the first half and had a 39-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to go with a 23-yard receiving touchdown.
“I don’t really think about anything,” Hobson said. “I just look for the blocks, but the feeling is like no other. Just hearing everybody scream, seeing perfect blocks be set up just like you practiced, its one of the best feelings in the world. It’s indescribable.”
Hobson’s backfield mate Jalon Redmond also had a big game for the Barbs, scoring on runs of 23 and 65 yards.
The Barbs aerial attack got in on the action as well with Trenton Kyler hitting Alex Siebens for a 56 yard catch and run.
The DeKalb defense smothered the Cavaliers offense, forcing three and out on the first four possessions of the game, including no offensive yards in the first quarter.
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By the time the Cavaliers scored their first touchdown at the end of the half, they were already down by four touchdowns at 36-8.
“We’re a physical football team and its nice when you got safeties and corners and outside linebackers that are strong kids that play fast and physical,” Weckler said. “It kind of narrows everything down to middle where I think our strength is.”
The Barbs defense stuffed the Cavaliers twice on fourth down and dominated with hard hits, holding the Cavaliers to short gains, including a loud smash delivered by Barb’s defensive back Donovan Lacey.
“The hit of the pads, the sound of the pads energizes me and my teammates,” Lacey said. “Enthusiasm comes from within. As that goes through the team, we just play better.”
By the end of the third quarter, the Barbs had their back ups in and the win was sealed.
The only negative for the Barbs was their kickoff coverage that allowed some big runbacks and put the defense in tough field position, but the defense held tight.
Kicker Conner Tierney was in street clothes for the game, so the Barbs went for two on every score.
“Conner’s been out, so we don’t really have a true kicker to kick off,” Weckler said. Then the guy we actually had was out tonight, too, so this was our third guy. That’s why we went for two, which we’ll probably have to do going forward.”
DeKalb junior wide receiver Alex Siebens celebrates his long touchdown catch during the game against LaSalle-Peru Friday in LaSalle.
DeKalb junior linebacker Matthew Orzechowski tackles LaSalle-Peru quarterback Jakob Kupperschmid for a loss during their game Friday in LaSalle.
DeKalb junior running back Jalon Redmond finds some running room during the game against LaSalle-Peru Friday in LaSalle.